Ryan Martin has reached the halfway point and his hometown of Guelph on his cross-country awareness and fundraising campaign for the Canadian Mental Health Association. The 23-year-old stopped by our Guelph office to speak about his experience,
“I’ve talked to corporate groups, people on the streets, farmers in Saskatchewan on a country road, old ladies over coffee at Tim Horton’s and old men who meet every morning at McDonalds in Winnipeg. I’ve talked to young people, old people, men, women, Canadians and Americans. But the biggest thing I’ve learned in this whole journey is that mental health is something that affects us the most, but is talked about the least.”
Martin shared the story of his six year process that he went through to identify and accept his mental health struggles. In his talk, he spoke about his hesitation to put his diagnosis of bipolar on the main page of his ride website as he worried about the stigma associated with mental health. As you will see when you visit his site it states, “MY NAME IS RYAN MARTIN. I HAVE ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, AND BIPOLAR DISORDER. I’M CYCLING ACROSS CANADA FOR MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS.”
One of Ryan’s most important messages is that of hope, resiliency and how building a tool box to help with your mental health struggles is key. Everything from talking to friends, medication, therapy, research, exercise, eating habits, breathing exercises and meditation are all things Martin uses to deal with his issues.
“On this ride I wanted to share my story, and get people to share their story,” Martin said. We were honoured to welcome Ryan to our site and look forward to welcoming him back at the end of his journey.
To support Ryan, check out his route and learn more, visit his website at www.mindcycle.ca. All donations will go to the CMHA to help fund mental health programs and services in communities across Canada.
Learn more about mental health, read inspiring stories and news, find out about upcoming workshops and training sessions.
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