Incredible Journey of Clara Hughes to Stop in Durham

As Canadians gear down from the emotional high of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, one of the nation’s most celebrated Olympians will be ramping up her own amazing journey sure to capture the national spotlight.

Clara Hughes celebrity attained from her Olympic medal performances at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games has been equaled or perhaps overtaken by lending her voice to the mental health movement. Hughes is a fixture of Bell Let’s Talk Day which raised $5.5 million this year alone. It is a welcome influx of funds to improve services for those with mental illness, but what is harder to monetize but no less valuable, is what Hughes has done to bring mental health into the spotlight. She speaks for those who are suffering in silence, too ashamed or frightened to ask for help. As one of the one-in-five Canadians with a mental illness, her story is our story.

Hughes, who battled depression, wants to erase the stigma around mental illness so people can get help without fear of being judged or discriminated.  It’s an uphill battle, but she is no stranger to driving through challenging terrain to achieve her goal.

Whether it is a tribute to the mettle and drive that fueled her athletic accomplishments or her passion to help others, Hughes is preparing for the biggest journey of her life. Under the title of Clara’s Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk, she will be cycling 12,000 kms over 110 days across Canada to raise bring attention to mental health and help communities raise funds for services.

Her incredible journey touches Durham this March. Hughes reaches Oshawa on Friday, March 21 and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences and the Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health want you to help celebrate by attending the Skate with Clara Event. This event will focus on a free community skate at the Legends Centre, Oshawa from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. It will also include booths and information from area providers of mental health services, free face painting, free hot chocolate and appearances by local celebrities.

The next morning Hughes will take off on the next leg of her journey from the Abilities Centre in Whitby at 8:30 a.m.

For more information on the Oshawa event visit https://www.facebook.com/events/654794067900891/