The social columnist and teacher Michael Schratter discusses his forthcoming year-long journey around the world by bicycle, raising awareness for mental health issues, as well as money for the Canadian Mental Health Association, with Joseph Planta; Schratter also discusses where he’s going, the stigma around mental illness, and more.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
In Vancouver, I am Planta: On the Line. This is THECOMMENTARY.CA.
You might have already heard of his story online or on television. Michael Schratter has already been featured on the local news for his forthcoming circumnavigating of the world by bicycle. He leaves Vancouver the first of August on a journey that will take him 40,000 kilometres, six continents and 30 countries. He leaves behind two careers: he’s an elementary school teacher, and he is the 24 Hours paper’s social columnist. He does so to raise awareness about mental illness, by sharing his own story—Michael is bipolar. He already shatters stigmas around it, what with his two careers, and now with this bike ride he sets to do more by taking us along for the ride via Facebook and Twitter, by documenting his progress, and by talking about mental illness frankly and openly. The Canadian Mental Health Association endorses, and benefits from this journey, as he funds this year-long adventure himself. Do as I have and go to www.ridedonthide.com to read more and donate. The Mayor, Gregor Robertson has already declared August the 1st to be Ride Don’t Hide Day—that’s when he sets off on this journey. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Michael Schratter; Good morning, Mr. Schratter.