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Gearing up for Ride Don’t Hide in the Okanagan Valley

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Gearing up for Ride Don’t Hide
Olympic gold-medallist Justin Kripps is the champion for Penticton's Ride Don't Hide, a community cycling event that promotes awareness around mental wellness – Jun 20, 2019

Mental health is an issue that doesn’t generally stand out in a crowd, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“One in five Canadians experiences mental health struggles in their lifetime,” said Leah Schulting, executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen branch of the CHMA.

And two thirds of those people don’t ever access help.

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“Because there is a stigma associated with mental illness,” Schulting said.

That’s why the CMHA is hoping to publicize the importance of and awareness surrounding mental wellness with Ride Don’t Hide.

“Ride Don’t Hide is a community bike ride that supports mental health initiatives in our community and hopes to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness,” Schulting said.

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That’s exactly why Summerland’s Justin Kripp is trading in his bobsled for a bike on Sunday.

As a World Cup bobsled competitor and the reigning Olympic two-man champion driver, Kripps understands the vital importance of mental health.

“I think it’s as important as physical health for sport and for day-to-day life, it’s more important than physical health,” Kripps said.

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That’s why Kripps is this year’s champion of the Penticton Ride Don’t Hide event.

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“I’m really into mental health. I work on it a lot myself personally in my career,”  Kripps said adding

“I just thought it would be a great opportunity for me to come and join the community and hopefully get some extra people out.”

To register to ride on Sunday in either Vernon Kelowna or Penticton, you can visit RideDon’tHide and help bring mental health out in to the open.

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