It’s a momentous sign that Kelowna is coming together as a mentally healthy community, one rider at a time. Approximately 500 people came out to ride and $130,000 has been raised, with more coming in, for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ride Don’t Hide, which took place in Kelowna June 24th – record numbers for the event.
Locally called The Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride, in memory of two brothers who lost their lives, the ride was billed as a rallying point for people to come together and get loud about mental health and suicide prevention. It’s a sentiment that resonated with the community. “All of us, CMHA Kelowna staff and volunteers, we are all overwhelmed by the response to this event,” says Shelagh Turner, CMHA Kelowna’s Executive Director. “It sends an important message that says to anyone who is having mental health issues or thoughts of suicide – you do not have to hide, you do not have to stay silent. As a community, you are not alone and we are there for you.”