After high profile suicides this week, a Canadian man is cycling across the country to raise awareness for mental health.

Ryan Martin, 23, is biking across the country for a cause that is very personal to him.

"There’s been days where I’ve been in a such a bad depressive episode where I’ve had to take additional days off… so this whole journey, I know going into it was going to be an opportunity for me to push my limits physically and also mentally and it’s going to be like that the rest of the trip," Martin said.

Last year, Martin was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Since then, he has set off on a journey to raise awareness about mental health and offer support and hope to those suffering.

Martin departed from Vancouver, B.C., a month ago. On Sunday, he made it to Regina and stopped by to share his story.

"One of the best things I ever did was I started talking about what I was going through, you know it took away a lot of suffering and pain. With me opening up about my story, I want to encourage people to talk about theirs to reduce their pain."

Martin has faced constant set-backs and weather challenges and admits his journey hasn’t been easy. However, he said he is determined to finish his 8 km biking journey across the country by September.

The 23-year-old has raised nearly $60,000 so far. The money will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association to help fund mental health initiatives.

"Here’s this young man, going across Canada, riding a bike and giving hope to people. That’s what Ryan is really about…hope," Shannon Patton of the Regina branch Canadian Mental Health Association said.

Martin shared a piece of advice for those struggling with their mental health.

“The biggest thing is just to listen. It’s just to let them know that you’re there, you are not going to judge, you’re not going to criticize, you’re not going to ask ‘why are you feeling like this.’ It’s just to listen and to kind of help walk them through what they are dealing with.”

The CMHA Regina branch will be hosting its annual Ride Don't Hide event on June 24. The day is expected to be packed with multiple events including a BBQ, music and booths.


Based on a report by CTV’s Madina Azizi.