It’s a great question: ‘First Responders are there to help people … But who is there to help THEM?’
That’s a tagline for the Medics for Mental Health bike ride, which will hold its third annual event on September 8, 2018 (8:30am start time). The goals of the ride, which happens around Oxford County and includes a 50km and a 100km route, are to raise awareness of the importance of the mental health among first responders, as well as to raise money for support programs for First Responders.
The proceeds from the 2018 event will be going to Tema Conter Memorial Trust’s ‘Peer Support and Family Assistance Program.’ Since its inception, the ride has raised more than $30,000 to help support the mental health of first responders across Canada.
Mental health is a vital issue among first responders, who regularly find themselves in situations that can result in mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And too many first responders, tragically, are dying by suicide.
The Tema Conter Memorial Trust was created with the help of Wounded Warriors Canada to help give money to First Responders, Military Personnel and their family members when they require financial assistance to help pay for psychologists and psychotherapists. Individuals can qualify for $1,000 in funding.
All riders are welcome to the 2018 Medics for Mental Health event (you don’t need to be a first responder!). The new route this year will see riders travel from Woodstock to Ingersoll, through Embro and back to Woodstock. The registration fee is $65. Though participants are not required to collect donations, they are certainly encouraged! Those who raise $100 in donations will receive a cycling jersey (and there are prizes for the top three fundraisers).
Contributions by Tanya Companion and photos by Metcalfe Photography