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Wurzweiler Alumna “Rides Away” the Stigma of Mental Health and Illness

One mile at a time, she is trying to spread the word. She is a social worker turned cyclist.
Danielle Berman, an MSW graduate of Wurzweiler School of Social Work,  founded Ride Away Stigma to honor her late father, who committed suicide in 1999.
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“It is my mission to encourage open discussion on mental health and illness and help remove the associated stigma,”  Berman states on www.rideawaystigma.com.  “I wish to be able to assist others to feel comfortable seeking help and finding their voice when all seems lost. “

She decided to cycle from Vancouver to Hamilton starting mid July 2014 with the hope that traveling across a significant portion of Canada can help bring awareness to people throughout the country. In doing so Berman plans to do her part to diminish the stigma associated with mental health and illness.

Berman also shares her personal story on the website as both her motivation and a motivation for others.  “I don’t think my father ever went in-depth with therapy; rather, he sought help only when he was overwhelmed or when it was too lateDB-family-225x300. Sadly, I believe he did not allow himself to fully engage in therapy, be diagnosed, or receive appropriate treatment because he was a highly respected physician and he was worried about his reputation. No one should ever suffer behind closed doors for fear of judgment, humiliation, or damage to reputation. It is now my mission to help remove the stigma associated with mental illness and to encourage open discussion about it. I want to help others feel comfortable seeking help and to find their voice when all seems lost.”

Dave-Banner15Donations and sponsorships for Ride Away Stigma will support mental health in Canada through Berman’s charitable partners: St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Foundation, Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton and Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

To support Ride Away Stigma and follow Berman’s journey, visit www.rideawaystigma.com  or follow the cause on Twitter and Instagram: