Ride 4 Hope celebrates five years of mental health awareness


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             CONTACT: Michael J. Yates

April 23, 2019                                                PHONE: (865) 719-7221

Ride 4 Hope celebrates five years of mental health awareness

Oak Ridge, TN — The month of May brings good news regarding the importance of mental health awareness. Ridgeview will be hosting the 5th Annual Ride 4 Hope on Friday, May 3 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.

Event festivities begin with the arrival of bicyclists who will be riding from Department of Children’s Services in Clinton earlier that morning. The cyclists stop at Anderson County Head Start, where they’ll hand out back packs to the children, before pedaling to Anderson County Courthouse to receive a mental health proclamation from Mayor Terry Frank. Following the arrival of the cyclists at Ridgeview at Noon, Department of Children’s Services will recognize high school graduates.

Katie Butler, Independent Living Specialist for DCS, said, “The value of this event to highlight our graduates’ strengths and successes has a positive impact.” 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 an achievement 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 are raising awareness, giving families hope and making it easier for people to talk about difficult subjects like suicide, addiction and mental illness,” said Buuck. “Partnering with schools as part of our ride helps underscore the importance of early screening and intervention to reduce mental health issues and promote healthy brain development.”

May’s national theme this year is expanding its focus from 2018 and raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health, through the theme #4Mind4Body, including the value of animal companionship, spirituality and religion, humor, work-life balance, and recreation and social connections.

“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 and to align with this year’s national theme.”

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 3 at 11:30! Consider this month the importance of promoting overall health every day – both physically and mentally – #4Mind4Body.

Photo, Left to Right: Michael Yates, Joe Pinkerton, and Steve Owens on training ride April 23, 2019.


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.