Two friends are setting off across the country today in order to raise money for mental health.
Arthur Szydlowski, of London, and his friend Liv Mickie will ride their bikes from London to Banff, Alberta to raise money for youth mental health programs and anti-stigma initiatives.
“Some days, we are only going to be doing 50 km, while others, we can do around 160 km,” said Arthur Sydlowski.
“When you take terrain and weather into account as well, I think we will be riding anywhere from 5-8 hours a day,” he said.
Szydlowski opened the “Bike 2 Banff” campaign through jack.org, citing his past experiences with mental health issues as the driving force behind it.
“Being a university student, I’ve seen a lot of my friends, and even myself, suffer with mental health because everything just keeps piling up,” Szydlowski said.
“It doesn’t actually click in how detrimental this is unless you see it for yourself, which is why I wanted to start this campaign,” he said.
Szydlowski says he hopes to use this trip as a platform to reach out to individuals and help them understand that admitting they are vulnerable, while hard, isn’t a sign of weakness.
“You can’t be afraid to talk about something like this. Just being able to say to somebody that you’re truly not okay, will be a tremendous step,” Szydlowski said.
According to the Jack.org website, the company pushes young Canadian leaders into the limelight in order to transform the way we think about mental health. Szydlowski says Jack.org has helped tremendously with getting the campaign up and running.
“When I contacted the company, they were immediately incredibly supportive,” Szydlowski said.
“To meet that support, we hope to raise $10,000 for them over the course of the next 40 days.”
According to the website, the campaign has raised $5,897.50 as of Saturday.
If you would like to donate, you can visit https://jack.akaraisin.com/community/Bike2Banff
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