Ride 4 Hope pedals mental health awareness message


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     CONTACT: Michael J. Yates

April 30, 2018                                                                                                      PHONE: (865) 719-7221

Ride 4 Hope pedals mental health awareness message

Oak Ridge, TN — The month of May brings good news regarding the importance of mental health awareness. Ridgeview will be hosting the 4th Annual Ride 4 Hope on Friday, May 4 from 11:30 – 1:30 on the climbing tower lawn at 240 W Tyrone Road in Oak Ridge. The event is open to the public.

The event festivities begin with the arrival of bicyclists who will be launched by Dr. Kristin Dean, PhD, Director with the Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody, in Clinton early that morning. The cyclists stop at Anderson County Courthouse to receive a mental health proclamation from Mayor Terry Frank before pedaling to Glenwood Elementary, where they’ll hand out green bracelets to students. Following the arrival of the cyclists at Ridgeview at Noon, attendees will hear remarks from Lt. Governor Randy McNally as he recognizes this year’s CIT Officer of the Year from Rocky Top Police Department. Musical entertainment will be provided by Jill Cagney.

Department of Children’s Services will recognize high school graduates at Noon. Katie Butler, Independent Living Specialist for DCS, said, “The value of this event is priceless. For us to be able to highlight their strengths and successes is so impactful.” Butler added, “The fact that our youth can persevere through the trauma of removal from their home and navigate the foster care system to succeeding educationally is a benchmark we, as a department, feel deserves recognition.”

“The good news,” according to Brian Buuck, CEO of Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services, “is that our collective efforts to elevate mental health literacy across our communities are making a difference in helping individuals seek help earlier. Prevention, early identification and intervention, and integrated care work,” said Buuck. “Intervening effectively during early stages of mental health issues can save lives and change the trajectory of overall health.”

May’s national theme this year is Fitness#4Mind4Body and is a call to pay attention to both your physical health and your mental health. “By pedaling a message of hope with community partners,” said DCS cyclist Joe Pinkerton, “we signal a collective change in the way we view mental health needs of everyone, including children and families involved with DCS.” Ridgeview social worker, Steve Owens, added, “I know that living a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, but it can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. Riding my bike promotes my overall health, and it is a positive way to share the good news related to mental health services in our community.”

Indeed, May brings good news of mental health awareness, and riding a bike is not required to show your support and enjoy the event on May 4 at 11:30! Consider this month the importance of promoting overall health every day – both physically and mentally – Fitness#4Mind4Body.

Photo: Joe Pinkerton, Steve Owens, and Michael Yates on training ride in April 2018.


Michael Yates is Director of Development for Ridgeview

Ridgeview is a private, not for profit community mental health center with locations in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties.