Canadian Olympian Clara Hughes is stopping in Pictou County on April 16 as part of her cross-Canada cycling trek to raise awareness about mental health.
Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk will cover 12,000 kilometres in 110 days and stop in 95 communities in 10 provinces and territories.
At each location along the way, Hughes will meet with the community and deliver her message about mental health and the importance of having open conversations to help break down the stigma that surrounds the issue.
She will be stopping at the Pictou County Wellness Centre for an event from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for an event hosted by the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Group in partnership with the Pictou County Health Authority.
It will offer an opportunity for Hughes, six time Olympian, to share her story about living with a mental illness. Local laywer, Tim Daley QC and Past President of the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society, will also share his story. The emcee for the evening will be Starr Dobson, president and CEO of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.
Leading up to Clara will be entertainment to showcase the talent of Pictou County.
Dave Gunning, George Canyon, Karen Corbin and The Third Step will perform. The Third Step is a youth band whose members plan to write and perform an original piece for the event. One member of the band lives with a mental illness.
“Our Community Champions are an incredible group of Canadians dedicated to helping achieve a stigma-free Canada,” said Hughes in a press release for the ride. “I want to thank them for their passion and commitment to growing the mental health conversation. Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk would not be possible without them.”
Clara’s Big Ride begins March 14 in Toronto and concludes in Ottawa on Canada Day.
On her national bicycle tour through every province and territory, Canada’s six-time Olympic cycling and speed-skating medalist will invite people in communities large and small into the mental health conversation and share her own story of mental health challenges.