I have been following the journey of two young people who are riding across the country on motorcycle to raise awareness around mental health and mental illness. Their page has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception a week or so ago. It is truly inspirational to see all the posts on Facebook telling personal stories of the challenges surrounding mental illness. There are also many heartbreaking stories of people who have died by suicide. David and Rochelle have dedicated sections of their ride to each person who made a request for them to do so, including me. I was so touched when I opened Facebook one morning to discover a post from them saying they were dedicating the first leg of their journey that day to my uncle.
We lost him to suicide not long after our Mom died of cancer many years ago. I often wonder if there was a connection. He often called her and the two of them would have long conversations on the telephone.
When I was young, we lost a neighbor and good friend to suicide and many years later his son died this same way. Back then there were few supports and people who died by suicide were often criticized and maligned, making it even harder for family and friends of the deceased. I am glad that there is much more understanding today, but there is still much to be done, which is why this young couple hit the road.
When people are physically injured or seriously ill in body nobody expects them to “get over it” or to keep on living their life as if they were healthy and strong. It’s amazing to me the depth of ignorance still prevalent in this day and age. Empathy and compassion are so needed and too often in short supply.
I am so grateful to these two young people who are taking the bull by the horns to try to make a difference. And they are!
I am providing the link to David and Rochelle’s page, A ride down AddyLayne, please consider making a donation if you can as all funds raised are going to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Here is that link:
and the link to the go fund me: