September 13, 2022
Nation’s first cycling fundraiser for mental health supports education, research and treatment at premier McLean Hospital
NEW YORK and BOSTON /ENDURANC SPORTSWIRE/ – In 2017, when New York lawyer and avid cyclist Mac Dorris founded the Ride for Mental Health in New Paltz, NY, it was a way to find hope, healing and purpose after the sudden loss and tragedy of her son, Eric. At this year’s event in June, 464 runners, along with sponsors, volunteers and virtual participants from around the world, helped bring the total amount raised to date for mental health services to more than one million dollars.
Registration for Mental Health Ride 2023, scheduled for June 24-25, 2023, is currently open.
Let’s ride for mental health presented a check this year for $235,000 – his biggest yet – at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and the nation’s first psychiatric hospital. Donations were also made to the New Paltz Youth Program and the Maya Gold Foundation.
In addition, the New Paltz Youth Program and the YMCA of Kingston (NY) each received 15 children’s and youth bicycle helmets, courtesy of event sponsor Bern Helmets.
“This event was inspired by Eric, and I know he would be happy to hear how we help individuals and families who have been impacted by mental illness, as well as people here in the local community,” Dorris said. . “I’m so grateful to all of the riders and volunteers who helped make this year’s Ride for Mental Health our best yet, and I can’t wait to start planning for 2023.”
Eric Dorris, who suffered from borderline personality disorder and other disorders, died aged 21 of an accidental overdose while an outpatient at McLean. For his father, the Ride helped pave the way for deep grief. This spirit of hope, community and resilience has grown stronger each year in New Paltz as more cyclists and volunteers come together to raise funds for education, research and treatment for mental illness. .
Within five years, The Ride for Mental Health became the first cycling fundraiser in the United States exclusively to benefit mental health. Hosted in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley, the weekend’s event is like an annual homecoming for a growing community of kindred spirits, many of whom have inspiring stories and personal motivation to ride or volunteer.
Along with 25, 50 and 100 mile bike paths winding through pristine farmland and charming local townships, Dorris has added a 14 mile “family fun ride” and the ability for anyone, anyone where to ride virtually. Participants receive a custom-designed Hincapie cycling jersey and all riders, volunteers and sponsors are invited to enjoy a free barbecue dinner and live music on Saturday evening.
“Mac and his team have created a wonderful event that has grown every year, even during a global pandemic,” said Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and chief psychiatrist of McLean. “The fact that he has now raised over $1 million for McLean is both inspiring and humbling. Equally important, he has created a community dedicated to eliminating the stigma of mental illness through the education and open conversation We are deeply grateful to the Dorris family and all the riders and sponsors for their tremendous efforts.
Corporate and community organizations, teams and individuals can participate in Ride for Mental Health, in person or virtually, and create their own fundraising pages. Sponsorships for 2023 are available and volunteer inquiries are welcome. Details are available at RideforMentalHealth.org, by emailing [email protected] and by following The Ride on Instagram, Facebook and Strava.
About the ride
The Ride for Mental Health was founded by New York lawyer Mac Dorris, inspired by his son, Eric. A bright and funny boy, Eric struggled with mental health issues in his youth. He was eventually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, among other conditions, and tragically died of an accidental overdose at the age of 21. Mac, an avid cyclist, created The Ride to honor his son’s life and to shine a light of hope and kindness. others. Eric’s memory lives on in the important work funded by Ride for Mental Health and in the moments of connection and camaraderie that make the event so rewarding.
Support for McLean Hospital
The Drive for Mental Health funds power a range of programs across McLean Hospital’s multi-campus network. These initiatives include expanding access to clinical care for young people, bursaries providing financial assistance to patients and their families, the development of a state-of-the-art academic and residential center for programs for to children and youth, public education and community training, and McLean’s nationally recognized research and innovation. McLean maintains the largest neuroscience and psychiatry research program of any private psychiatric hospital in the United States, exemplified by the Eric Dorris Memorial Fellowship. Since its inception, the fellowship has been awarded to five outstanding postdoctoral scientists. Through funding from Ride for Mental Health, McLean Hospital continues to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by psychiatric disorders by advancing our understanding of mental illness, leading to earlier and more effective interventions.