Clara Hughes cycles to Fredericton on three-month tour
Olympic medal winner hopes to raise awareness on mental illness.
Clara Hughes, a six-time Olympic medal winner, pushed through the rain on her bike to get from Woodstock to Fredericton Tuesday.
Fredericton is just one of nearly a hundred communities in her three and a half month tour. She wants to get people talking about mental health by sharing her own story of coping with a form of mental illness.
"I pump them up. I tell them my story of what I went through personally, my family story. And then I tell them that I'm a girl who won six Olympic medals, someone who lives with a form of mental illness,” said Hughes.
Hughes won medals both as a speed skater and a cyclist. She is the only Canadian woman to win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Games.
Mental health advocate Maureen Bilerman is the founder of DOTS NB, a group trying to improve mental health services for young people.
"I can't say how grateful we are to those in the public that step out there and really lead the way," said Bilerman.
She said the stigma surrounding mental health is a serious road block for those seeking help. “Only 20 per cent of children and youth that need mental health treatment, receive any treatment at all.”
Hughes is back on her bike tomorrow cycling to Saint John and then Moncton on Thursday before heading to Prince Edward Island.