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

EDITORIAL: The wishes of the voters

While the results will not please everyone, this is, more or less, what Canadian voters have chosen

Penticton-bound plane forced to return to Vancouver

It’s the third flight in three weeks that has been unable to land at Penticton Regional Airport.

SOREB brings back Warm up the Winter campaign

South Okanagan Real Estate Board seeking donations of clothing and blankets

Vehicle fire blocks southbound lanes of Coquihalla

The incident is reported to be between Merritt and Helmer Road

Penticton Search and Rescue locate missing man

Penticton Search and Rescue with air support from Elcipse Helicopters find missing hunter

VIDEO: Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech options pose threat

World-renowned cardiologist believes the device is just a pair of ‘rubber tubes’

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

Former Kelowna Hells Angels associate could be deported, court rules

David Revell has lost his fight against deportation from Canada

Alcohol available onboard BC Ferries starting Thursday

Beer and wine sales begin at 11 a.m. on select Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay sailings

Impressive hometown win for Okanagan Marathon runner

Vik Bains celebrated his first-ever career win on his Kelowna home course on Oct. 20

Pumpkins, more than just a jack-o-lantern: UBCO chef

The festive Halloween vegetables are great for side dishes, soups and breads

Apex Volunteer Fire Brigade receives AED donation from Sheeprock Lodge Strata

The brigade is asking for more donations in order to offer medical responses

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

Most Read