You are here

Clara visits London, Ontario as she bikes across Canada for mental health

A few weeks ago, I had the incredible opportunity to listen to Clara Hughes speak. For those of you unfamiliar with this fabulous person, she is the only Canadian Olympian to have ever won medals in the both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Through her multiple victories, Clara also struggles with depression. She's currently riding her bike across Canada for "Clara's Big Ride", which is a part of the Bell Let's Talk campaign to raise awareness and funds for mental health.

I've been trying to figure out what I wanted to say about this event. And after a lot of thought, there's always one word that seems to sum it all up: inspirational.

I relate to Clara Hughes in so many ways. She's a strong minded, outspoken, confident female. She's a dedicated athlete, and she struggles with mental health issues. I look at Clara, and I see how successful she is. I feel how powerful her message is. When I listen to Clara, I'm not just listening to her speak. I'm truly understanding and feeling what she's saying.

I look at Clara and I look at everything she goes through on a daily basis, and I feel so inspired to do something. I'm inspired to not ever let my daily struggles stop me from going after what I want. She talked about each and every person deserving help and deserving to do what they want with their lives. And with every word she said, I kept feeling more inspired.

It's really easy for me to lose sight of what really matters. It's so easy for me to get caught up in school, sports and working. Seeing people like Clara reminds me that the work we're doing at mindyourmind is important. And continuing to strive towards things like getting rid of stigma, and raising mental health awareness is the reason we're working so hard. I look at how much of a difference Clara's made just by telling her story. I look at the difference she's made just by opening up to people. And the things she's accomplished despite her struggles. Seeing what Clara has done not only inspires me to keep working hard, but reminds me of why we do it.

We want to get rid of the stigma around mental illness. We want to keep raising awareness for mental health. And we want to get the right information to those that need it so they can get help. And with the work of people like Clara, and the work we're doing in our community, we're helping to make that happen.

We're making change happen. And that's pretty awesome.