Ryan Phillips stopped in Salmon Arm Thursday, June 6, to talk about his ride around the globe to raise awareness around mental health and the importance of reaching out for help. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Former B.C. hockey player now biking the globe for mental health

Ryan Phillips stops in Salmon Arm during journey to raise awareness

Ryan Phillips has definitely chosen to ride instead of hide.

The Lower Mainland resident rode into Salmon Arm Thursday, June 7, for an afternoon interview and a break before returning to his cross-country bicycle trek the following morning.

A former professional hockey player who played a season with the Vernon Vipers (1995/96), Phillips’ current journey, across not just Canada but the world, is fuelled by a determination to raise awareness around mental health.

“I suffered from bipolar which is a debilitating disease… recently I’ve gone to medication and my life has taken a turn for the absolute better, hence why I am riding this ride for the purpose of helping inspire people that suffer from mental health illness of any different kind,” said Phillips.

Phillips said his ride began at the Terry Fox monument in Victoria. As of Friday, he had logged approximately 750 kilometres, choosing to ride through Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon before stopping in Salmon Arm.

“We took the long way, but it’s OK. It made me strengthen my legs a little bit,” laughed Phillips. “You really get to see B.C. in all its beauty.”

Read more: Getting ready for Ride Don’t Hide

Read more: In photos: Lunch launch to Ride Don’t Hide

Read more: Ride Don’t Hide

The idea to ride around the world was inspired by Phillips’ recent journey through Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

“That was really cool and I knew at that point, if I was going to do a ride, I wanted to do it for a purpose and as soon as I got back to Canada, I’m going to do the world,” said Phillips. “I really love challenges, maybe that stems from my hockey career…”

Phillips’ message to those who might be suffering from mental health issues is to not be afraid to reach out.

“Anybody who is suffering. Reach out. There is help. If i can do it, you can do it.”

Phillips noted Salmon Arm residents can do their own riding for mental health awareness in the annual Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Shuswap-Revelstoke’s Ride Don’t Hide event on Saturday, June 23. Registration for that event, to be held at the Little Mountain Sports Complex and park, is already underway. More information can be found at the CMHA website.

Those wanting to learn more about Phillips’ journey can find him at spintheglobe.ca, or on his spin-the-globe gofundme page, where he is raising funds for his ride.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Mellalieu running for Greens again in Central-Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Robert Mellalieu ran for federal Green Party in 2015 election and provincial Greens in 2017

Memorials set up to honour Antarctica explorer

In 1913, two memorials in Summerland honoured Naval Officer Robert Scott

Multiple crashes slow traffic on Coquihalla south of Kamloops

Drivers are expected to be stuck for up to 90 minutes

Chance of showers and thunderstorm for Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Mostly cloudy day for the Okanagan-Shuswap and Similkameen regions

“Our community has had its heart broken”: Penticton celebrates life of David Kampe

Community and families members who knew Kampe give tearful addresses

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Okanagan bylaw officer best in B.C.

Al Harrison of Vernon named Bylaw Officer of the Year at annual association conference

Man accused of assault at South Okanagan beach gets bail

Thomas Brayden Kruger-Allen was granted bail at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Monday

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Most Read