Be an ambassador for hope

By Drum Digital
14 October 2016

Hikers and mountain bikers came together to break the stigma of depression at this year’s Hope Hike and Hope Bike

October is the World Health Organisation’s Mental Health Awareness month, making it the perfect month to get together for Hope Hike – and this year also the Hope Bike.

The events took place early in October at Blaauwklippen in Stellenbosch on 2 October and at Van Gaalen’s in Skeerpoort, Gauteng, on 9 October.

Hikers and mountain bikers came together to address the stigma still attached to this widespread illness. All of the entry fees went to the iThemba Foundation’s depression research fund, a non-profit organisation working to learn more about depression and how it affects people and communities.

If you missed this month’s Hope Hike, it’s still not too late to do your bit. “All of us can be an ambassador for hope by talking about psychological health, being aware of the signs, and ensuring that we get to a doctor if you experience these signs,” says Prof. Lizette Rabe, organiser of the annual Hope Hike. “It’s an illness, not a weakness. Just because it’s above the neck, doesn’t mean we must think differently about psychological illnesses. And this month each of us can make a different by breaking the silence around depression and other such illnesses.”

For more info about the iThemba Foundation or to get your own blue ribbon to drive awareness in the month of October, go to www.ithembafoundation.org.za.

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