Suicide Awareness Week: Crisis Support Centre, Alberta Primetime, Avenue Edmonton, 630CHED

Lift The Silence: Suicide Awareness Week

This week is the 12th annual Lift The Silence: Suicide Awareness Week, organised by Edmonton’s Crisis Support Centre and the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Edmonton Region.

As part of the week, on Tuesday 10 September (tomorrow) – World Suicide Prevention Day, Bill will be talking about the ride at the Crisis Support Centre’s annual fundraising breakfast. Tickets are still available, and will go to fund the great work the Crisis Support Centre does in our region.

The host of the event is Jennifer Martin, co-host of Alberta Primetime, seen on CTV Two. Ahead of the event, Bill was invited to talk about Hillary’s Ride, sucide prevention, and the need to reduce the stigma around mental health issues on last Friday’s Alberta Primetime (Sep 6).

Watch the interview on CTV Two’s Alberta Primetime

This month (September) an article about the ride was also published in Avenue Magazine (Edmonton). If you’re not able to pick up a copy, you can read it online, or dive to page 74 on this online version.

Bill was also interviewed on World Suicide Prevention Day on Edmonton’s 630CHED Afternoon News radio show. You can listen back to that interview by:


After the Ride

Throughout the ride, Bill Werthmann, Hillary’s father, regularly phoned into Edmonton’s campus radio station, CJSR.

To wrap up the series of interviews, Bill went into the CJSR studio this morning to talk about the success of the ride and to play a tune live. “Stuff That Hurts,” originally by Guy Clark, was a tune that resonated with Bill for the entire ride, and you can hear Bill’s live version of the tune midway through this interview:

CBC Coverage

Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, has been honouring the ride since it’s completion.

Their TV cameras were there at Cape Spear, capturing the final pedal in the team’s cross-Canada journey.

Watch, and read the piece, that has been covered in both Newfoundland, and on the Edmonton mini-site.

On Monday July 15, Bill was in-studio with Radio Noon host, Ramona Dearing, on the CBC Newfoundland and Labrador lunchtime show. Have a listen back to that interview.

Then later that same day he was on CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active show. The podcast from that show includes the interview (podcast available from the CBC for 3 months). You can also hear the interview Bill did the afternoon before the start of the ride.

Atlantic Attention

With only a handful more days of cycling before the riders make it all the way across Canada, the ride and the fundraising events have been garnering a lot of attention. Here is a summary of some of the recent media:

CTV Morning Live, Atlantic

Bill was interviewed on CTV Morning Live Atlantic, a multi-provincial show based in Halifax, this morning. You can watch the whole interview on their website.

News 95.7, Halifax

The Maritime Morning Weekend Edition interviewed Bill’s wife, Betty jo Werthmann on Sunday July 7, hours before she was reunited with her husband after nearly 2 months of being apart, since the riders passed through Southern Alberta.

Skip about two-thirds of the way through the first hour of this show to hear the interview.

The Guardian, P.E.I.

Organizers said they hope the ride not only raises funds but also public awareness about depression, suicide and other mental health issues.

Prince Edward Island’s, The Guardian newspaper covers the ride’s Charlottetown afternoon show.

United Way, Central New Brunswick

On the central New Brunswick’s chapter of the United Way’s blog, they very kindly wrote up their experience with the Fredericton fundraiser:

I was blown away by two things last night: the first was the talent of the artists on stage, the second was the love and support for Hillary, her story and her legacy.

Read the full blog post.

CKUA Radio, Alberta

Andy Donnelly, host of the Friday night Celtic Show on CKUA in Alberta had Bill on the show again on Friday. Let us know if you have a recording of the show.

A Song for the ride from Medicine Hat, Alberta

Ali Sellin was one of the performers at the event held in Medicine Hat, Alta. Here is the song she wrote and performed especially for the ride at the event:

Media Medley

Some of the recent media mentions that we’ve been able to compile:

Upcoming Events:

Moncton‘s News 91.9 morning radio show, McLean in the Morning, had Bill on for an interview on Tuesday July 2nd. We have a private event in Moncton on Friday July 5. (Please get in touch if you have an audio recording of the show)

Charlottetown‘s Buzz On website features the afternoon event we’re having on Saturday July 6th.

Halifax‘s SNAP Dartmouth event listings profile the concert we’re holding in Halifax on  Monday July 8.

Other Mentions:

Quebec‘s Chronicle-Telegraph ran a piece on the ride in their July 3 issue. (Please get in touch if you have a copy of the paper or article, as the linked article is just a stub)

Edmonton‘s CJSR continue their weekly check-in. On July 4 Bill talked about some of the health challenges going into a cross-Canada ride:

Gleaning Space

“A lot of young people today are afraid to talk about mental illness because of the stigma that’s attached to it, so we gathered up some musician friends, and hopped on our bicycles and rode across the country to stop the stigma. To let people know it’s OK to talk about mental illness.”

– Bill Werthmann talking on CKCU’s Canadian Spaces

Recent media mentions have covered the concerts in the Capital Region, the upcoming show in Fredericton and the weekly Alberta update:

Ottawa & Perth CKCU Radio

On Saturday morning’s CKCU Canadian Spaces show in Ottawa, Lynn Miles co-hosted with Chris White a wonderful two hours of folk music and discussion around mental health.

Hillary’s father, and rider, Bill Werthmann was interviewed on the show, as was musician David Francey, who was performing that evening at a concert in McDonald’s Corner in aid of the Ride.

Listen to the whole two hour show, or skip ahead to minute 59 for Bill and minute 73 for David. Lynn Miles performs a couple of live songs in the first hour:

Canadian Spaces – June 22, 2013

Fredericton Daily Gleaner

The Daily Gleaner - June 21, 2013

The Daily Gleaner – June 21, 2013

The Daily Gleaner ran a wonderful article written by Lori Gallagher, on the ride and cause in their June 21, 2013 issue:

Remembering Hillary

Bill Werthmann is biking across Canada in memory of his daughter Hillary, who committed suicide 10 years ago

On May 8, Bill Werthmann began a journey that will take him across Canada, raising money and awareness about youth depression and suicide.

The former Frederictonian is biking from Victoria, B.C., to St. Johns, N.L., in memory of his daughter Hillary, holding fundraising concerts at different stops along the way.

Read the full article (pdf file)

Deseronto Concert coverage in the Napanee Guide

The Napanee Guide had a concert preview to the Deseronto concert. Meghan Balogh wrote a piece that looked at how the charities we’ve partnered with will benefit:

Hillary’s Ride aims to support small groups working at promoting mental health and reaching out to those with mental illness.

“The smaller ones we think are more in need of some of that funding.”

Read the full article

Weekly update on CJSR, Edmonton

Bill once again updated Edmontonians on his weekly CJSR interview, his seventh update. This week he talked about how having conversations about mental health, to any age group, will enable youth to get the help they need, by reducing the stigma around it:

A Busy Weekend Ahead

As the morning sun rises over Peterborough, Ont., the riders are starting their busiest weekend of the entire journey.

After arriving in Madoc this evening (Friday), they’ll be heading straight to Deseronto for their concert at John McNeill’s Place with performances from Roger Law, The Kim Pollard Band, Fred Werthman and Bill Werthmann. Our partner charity will be Mental Health Support Network.

Then tomorrow (Saturday), they’ll ride into Perth for the concert at the Mera School House in McDonald’s Corner, with David Francey and friends. The partner charity here will be the Kid’s Help Phone.

They ride into Ottawa on Sunday, followed by a concert on Monday evening (after a well deserved ‘rest day’ in the Capital) at Greenfields in Nepean. Performing are Lynn MilesSneezy WatersBall & ChainMaria HawkinsBobby Watt,Keith GlassGreg Werthman and Brock Zeman. The support charity, Parents’ Lifelines of Eastern Ontario, will be available to talk about their essential services.

And they’re doing all of this without their support driver Al, who has popped home for a weekend wedding.

To get all the details on this busy weekend, make sure you follow the riders on various media. Here are some of the upcoming and recent highlights:

  • On Saturday morning Lynn Miles will co-host the Canadian Spaces folk show with Chris White on Ottawa community station CKCU, and will also be joined by David Francey, Keith Glass and our own Bill Werthmann to talk about the weekend’s events. Make sure you’re listening on 93.1 FM in Ottawa, or online at 10am (Eastern). (An archive will be available to listen to after the broadcast). (Note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the show started at 11am – sorry about that error – it’s 10am)
  • Tonight hear Bill Werthmann on Andy Donnelly’s Celtic Show on Alberta’s CKUA Radio.
  • Bill did his weekly update with Edmonton’s CJSR yesterday, where they talked about the musical events along the ride’s route:
  • The Algoma News did a nice story on the ride earlier this week.
  • Thanks to the Davy Lake Campground & Resort, in Ignace, for the well-wishes on your website.

Hitting Walls – Together

“I’ve hit a wall.”

Who hasn’t used that expression? Maybe toward the end of a running race when you were physically spent, or when inspiration left you with a few hundred words still to write in a dissertation, or maybe when your dark thoughts refuse to leave you, emotionally draining you.

Hillary’s Ride is all about allowing us to open up about our mental “walls”, seek the help we need, and reduce the stigma around that; we’re trying to build a community with our personal walls.

As a board we knew that each team member would at some point hit a wall, and we wanted to help them through it.

So we did what people do these days. We made a video for them. We hope you find inspiration from it too:

Thanks to Holly Mazur and her friends, Rory Fidler and Kyle Ball, for filming and editing. And thanks to Donna Wiznura and Randy Zutter for the idea and co-ordination of the filming.

Recent media mentions

As our team of cyclists make their way into the more populated areas of Ontario (and a busy weekend of events in Deseronto, Perth and Ottawa), we thought we would look back at some of the exposure they’ve received recently:

Working Together, But For Different Causes

The team are currently resting near Thunder Bay, in Ontario, after a week that saw them enter their fifth province, and fourth timezone.

It’s also been a week where the team have met up with other cyclists who are doing cross-Canadian trips this summer for their own causes, which was the topic of conversation when Bill checked in for his weekly CJSR, Edmonton, update:

Bob Wilson and Brian Godfrey, friends from Nanaimo, are riding together, but for two different causes. Bob is riding in support of the Travellers Lodge Foundation in Nanaimo and the new Eden facility they are building, whilst Brian is raising funds for BC’s Childrens Hospital.

Both are also maintaining their own blogs, which give a different view of our travelling troupe, since they met up again on Tuesday:

Kilderic Moroy has also been a common riding partner this week. He is riding across the country to encourage Canadian’s to Be The Change with respect to environmental actions. You can pledge to make a change to support his effort.

Bill also talks about the Heliset Hale Marathon. They are running the length of Vancouver Island for suicide prevention, especially in aboriginal communities, where suicide rates in youth are 5-6 times higher compared with non-aboriginal youth. You can follow their journey on their facebook page.
It’s good to know there are so many inspiring Canadians working in every community to better our lives and for those who will come after us.