A Simcoe man is cycling 1,000 kilometres to help raise money and awareness for mental health issues.
Chris Kindy, 39, is taking part in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ride Don’t Hide campaign to provide more awareness and provide better services for those struggling with mental health and anxiety.
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His goal is to reach $10,000 in donations by June 27. So far he has raised about $8,000.
“The reason why I’m doing it is that I’ve always been passionate about fund raising and making an investment in my local community,” said Kindy. “Also, exercising and cycling really go hand and hand and is also therapeutic for me.”
Kindy, who works as a case manager for Haldimand-Norfolk Health and Social Services and works casually at the Canadian Mental Health Association as a mental health worker, says the money will help support local mental health programs in the community.
Once the pandemic started, Kindy noticed an increase in individuals seeking out mental health assistance.
He said he is touched by the positive responses from the community and says everyone knows someone that struggles with mental health and that it’s never too late to get help.
“When people make those donations, it’s a conversation,” said Kindy. “People will reach out and hopefully by me telling them that I suffer from anxiety, people know that they’re not alone. It’s OK to be not OK. That’s a really important message to get out.”
On June 27, Kindy and his aunt will endure a 77-kilometre journey along the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk trail systems, stretching from Hamilton to Simcoe to finish off his 1,000-kilometre goal.
The ride will take about four hours to complete. Kindy averages 10 kilometres or more each day in preparation for the final leg of his ride.
Kindy says his aunt has provided encouragement and support during his struggle with anxiety. He says he is looking forward sharing this personal moment with her.
Kindy has also gathered support and encouragement from Michael Benin, executive director of the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk branch of the CMHA, who has also supplied him with biking gear.
Individuals can donate for the Ride Don’t Hide Campaign on the Canadian Mental Health Association website at https://cmha.donordrive.com/ .