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College of the Rockies spins for mental health

Cranbrook Daily Townsman - 2/2/2019

Ready, set, spin were the words that echoed through College of the Rockies.

The second annual Spin for Mental Health was held on Jan. 31, with proceeds being donated to the Canadian Mental Health Associations Kootenay Branch.

"We started Spin for Mental Health last year in response to the Bell Let's Talk. So, looking at removing the stigma of mental health for students at the college," said Cori Andrichuk, manager student life, College of the Rockies.

Hosting this event was important Andrichuk said especially with challenges students face in their everyday lives.

"Having good mental health means they can rise to those challenges, get through them and be successful academically," she said.

The event promotes mental health and physical health, which is important as it encompasses the whole student.

"We have an academic side of our students, we have the fitness side of our students —the extracurricular activities. You put those all together and we look at the whole student. So, having good mental health strategies and skills, and being able to talk about it with others without having the stigma that's there is fantastic and provides them with an opportunity to be really successful," said Andrichuk.

In the inaugural year, there were 25 people over three rides, this year they had 50 over three rides.

"We doubled our numbers, doubled our contribution," added Andrichuk, noting they raised nearly $2,400.

"I'm so proud. I think it's amazing to be able to look at the students and say we are a place where we recognize you have challenges whether they are mental health challenges or physical health challenges, and we can rise to that challenge for them."

Kootenay Life Cycle and Fitness Inc. were brought it in to provide the bikes.

"Today it's special because it's for a purpose and reason. We tried to get it as loud as we could in here, as many people in the gym, pack it in and to make people who aren't involved aware and to make some noise. That was our big goal with today with mental health awareness," said Sjanne Beattie, co-owner Kootenay Life Cycle.

Andrichuk says this is an event they will continue to put on annually.

"We will refine it a little bit, maybe chances so it doesn't get stagnate, but it really brings together our community and focuses on our students as well as our external community," she said.

The college also partnered with Hot Shots Cafe and Stoke Cold Pressed Juice to help out with the event.