How to virtually take part in the Ride for Mental Health

The Ride for Mental Health has been an annual event since 2017, but this year, it will not take place in New Paltz with hundreds of riders.

Founder Mac Dorris says they have had to make some adjustments.

"It was going to take place this summer - June 27th and 28th, but because of COVID-19, we've had to adapt. There's no rest for mental illness and mental health issues, particularly with the virus," said Dorris.

Instead of one day and one location, riders can ride now through Labor Day - anywhere, any distance, and even on stationary bikes. Riders then can upload their stats as they ride together - apart.

"We have riders not just in New York - some people will undoubtedly ride the routes that we had planned to ride in June, but we have riders in California, Oregon and Washington State and Ohio and Indiana and Illinois," added Dorris, "It's a great way to end the stigma associated with mental health."

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Dorris says the event is personal to him, because he lost his middle son, Eric in 2016 to an accidental overdose. Dorris says at the time, his son was being treated for borderline personality disorder and other issues.

"In an odd way, our son's death was like giving us a key that opened up everybody else's stories," he said.

Since the inception of the event, Dorris has noticed more and more people are willing to share their stories with mental illness.

"People talk about broken arms like its no big deal, but they don't talk about people suffering from anxiety issues or depression or schizophrenia or borderline personality disorders, but this ride allows people to do it," said Dorris.

CLICK HERE for more on how to register.
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