Meet your Courage 2 Go Further Champions
We are excited to announce that Clara Hughes and Haley Smith have joined our 2021 Courage 2 Go Further (C2GF) Champions: Joanie Caron, Rachel Cliff and Chris Winter. Everyone, including our five C2GF Champions have been impacted by mental illness. That’s why this year, these Olympic and elite athletes have united to support Courage 2 Go Further, a virtual event that challenges you to push yourself further than you’ve been before. Whether it’s walking around the block every day for a week, doing the Grouse Grind, cycling 10 km or 100 km or practicing yoga for 50 minutes a week; no challenge is too big or too small, it just has to challenge you.
People living with mental illness challenge themselves each and every day to go further in their recovery. They show extraordinary courage every single day. Their determination can be an inspiration to us all. Join our five C2GF Champions by taking on your own challenge this summer. Register today at: courage2gofurther.ca.
Courage 2 go further champions
Clara Hughes is the only athlete in history to win multiple medals in both summer and winter Olympic Games. She is a six-time Olympic medalist, representing Canada in both speed skating and cycling. Clara is the founding spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk, a campaign designed to end the stigma attached to mental illness. She is a best selling author and an avid long distance hiker. Clara believes in the healing powers of movement as medicine as well as the calming effects of being immersed in nature.
“We all have mental health and are not encouraged enough to protect it,” says Clara. I am honoured to be a Courage 2 Go Further Champion with the Coast Mental Health Foundation to help promote and encourage positive mental health supports and awareness for all. As people, we connect through the elements of struggle and joy. Embracing this in a way that can allow a person to know they are not alone if they might be experiencing a mental health concern is important to me. I hope this year’s campaign can bring people together and further the conversation of mental health that has grown this last decade, but still has so far to go.”
Haley Smith is an Olympian, Commonwealth Games medallist, and a professional off-road cyclist. Having dealt with both a debilitating anxiety disorder and orthorexia from a young age, Haley is now an advocate for ensuring everyone has access to mental health care. She is also currently working on her Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology, focusing on the reciprocal relationship between sport and mental health.
“Throughout adolescence, I dealt with both a debilitating anxiety disorder and orthorexia, which have come and gone in waves throughout my professional racing career. I credit the life-saving resources of hospital access, ongoing psychotherapy, and attentive medical professionals for why I’m still alive today,” says Haley. “I strongly believe that every individual should have access to mental health care. The availability of these resources is a cornerstone of a successful healthcare system and society. Join me and challenge yourself to go further to help transform the lives of people living with mental illness.”
We’re thrilled that the 2021 C2GF Champions, Joanie Caron, Rachel Cliff and Chris Winter have returned to support this important event.
Olympian, 2 times National Champion, World Cup and Pan-Am Games Medalist, Joanie Caron also has a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. She now combines her athletic and academic background to help cyclists of any levels reach their goals. Her company Gear Up Cycling, offers cycling-specific coaching services, on the road, “in-studio” and now virtually.
“Through the people I’ve met with competing or through the athletes I have worked with, I can confirm that mental health touches every one of us, regardless of age or status. This year, the needs for mental health will be greater than ever, and the support offered by Coast Mental Health is critical,” says Joanie.
“Together, by creating a challenge or supporting participants, we can make a huge impact on mental health in our community. Hope that many can join me for the ride.”
Rachel Cliff is an elite long-distance runner and has represented Canada on numerous senior teams including the IAAF World Championships (2017 & 2019), the Commonwealth Games (2018) and Pan Am Games (2019) – where she won a medal in the 10,000m. She is also the previous Canadian record holder in the Half Marathon and Marathon.
“By supporting the Courage 2 Go Further, I hope I can use my platform to raise awareness and help this cause,” says Rachel. “Mental Health contributes to significant public health burden and individual suffering. As a society, we are finally becoming more comfortable speaking about mental health issues, but there remains significant stigma and misunderstanding and limited resources; there is still so much work to be done.”
Chris Winter is a former Middle-Distance runner, predominantly focused on the 3,000m steeplechase. He represented Canada at the 2013 World Track and Field Championships, 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Chris is currently serving as the Director, Domestic Programs & Safe Sport with Athletics Canada.
“Being involved in competitive sport most of my life, and now seeing the impacts of a global pandemic on my friends and family, I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should have access to mental health supports, says Chris. “I’m proud to be a Courage 2 Go Further Champion for a second year. I hope you’ll join me with your own challenge this summer and help others get the care they need.”
Coast Mental Health is a registered charity established in 1972. We’re a community that embraces and honours people with mental illness, so they may thrive and contribute. Our goal is always to advocate for, support and promote the sustained recovery of people with mental illness. With 50 years of experience in specialized mental health services (Housing, Supports and Education & Employment), we support over 5,000 people and their families across Greater Vancouver.