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)

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

With bridge construction well underway on the project to replace the Solsqua-Sicamous bridge. Motorists should expect delays of up to half an hour. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)
Pedestrian path would connect Solsqua-Sicamous bridge to community

District of Sicamous staff say bridge replacement project on tight schedule

(Photo: Pixabay)
Enderby chamber proposes new rural e-business training program

The program would help rural-area businesses expand using online tools and insights

Signs in Homer, Alaska, offer inspiration during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Michael Armstrong-Homer News)
COLUMN: COVID-19 pandemic hits home

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read