RCMP Gets Personal with Mental Health
As part of CMHA’s robust social media campaign, they have created a video featuring Moreau’s story to encourage other organizations across Canada to join the Ride Don’t Hide movement. Ride Don’t Hide is CMHA’s national bike ride that is taking place on June 21st in 27 communities across Canada to raise awareness about mental health and reduce the discrimination and stigma around mental illness.
“I had issues with mental health [in the past] and I did contemplate suicide. It was only because my daughter needed me that I did not go through with it,” says Assistant Commissioner Gilles Moreau, the RCMP’s mental health champion. “Because of our policing culture where everyone has to be strong and be a superhero, what I’m trying to do is break down that barrier. Underneath these red tunics, we are human beings first.”
Link to video: http://bit.ly/1JdSgBE
Moreau received the help he needed through the RCMP’s employee wellness program and with the support of professionals and his RCMP peers. He was able to gain back his mental health, keep a work-life balance through exercise and redefine his career aspirations. Now, his goal is to address the discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illness within the RCMP, and highlight the importance for RCMP members to look after their mental health.
“The biggest challenge with mental illness is that, unlike a physical injury, you can’t see it. As we talk about mental health, its importance and the impact it has on every one of us, we are helping to remove the stigma,” said A/Commr Moreau.
In any given year, one in five Canadians, or approximately seven million Canadians, experience a mental health problem or illness, but only one third will seek help – often due to the discrimination and stigma around mental illness.
In 2014, the RCMP developed a five-year mental health strategy to enhance the health and safety of its employees, and to address mental health in the workplace. The RCMP has over 30,000 employees located in over 800 communities and posted internationally.
The RCMP across British Columbia will be taking part in Ride Don’t Hide, forming teams and participating in various locations throughout the province. The RCMP encourages organizations to take a stand and register their own teams to join the Ride Don’t Hide movement.
“Support from organizations like the RCMP is integral to Ride Don’t Hide’s success and demonstrates a commitment to the psychological health and safety of its employees,” says Peter Coleridge, National CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association. “More people are now talking about mental health and mental illness, and we encourage everyone including companies and organizations to join the movement to eliminate discrimination and stigma and improve access to community based programs and services across Canada.”
This Father’s Day, CMHA is expecting more than 6,000 cyclists, as corporate teams, school groups, friends and families, from all across Canada join together to ride for mental health.
The ride is open to cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Registration and donations can be made online at www.ridedonthide.com.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a national charity that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians. As the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA helps people access the community resources they need to build resilience and support recovery from mental illness and addiction. Visit the CMHA website at www.cmha.ca today.
Yvonne Chiang, 604-880-5090, email@example.com
Ride Don’t Hide Across Canada:
Ontario: Brant Haldimand-Norfolk;Cochrane-Timiskaming; Greater Toronto Area; Grey Bruce; Halton; Kenora-Fort Frances; Lambton Kent; Middlesex; Niagara; Oxford County; Peel Region-Caledon Hills; Sault Ste. Marie; Sudbury/Manitoulin; Windsor
British Columbia: Cariboo-Chilcotin; Cowichan Valley; Grand Vancouver; Kamloops; Kelowna; Mid-Island- Nanaimo; Port Alberni; Prince George; Shuswap Revelstoke; South Okanagan Similkameen; Vernon; Victoria