Communities across the country are invited to support Patrick Cutter in his Mental Health Awareness North to South ride.
Patrick Cutter, a suicide prevention advocate from Virginia Beach, Virginia, is attempting to ride a bicycle from the farthest point north accessible by road in the United States, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to the farthest point south in Key West, Florida. The goal of the Mental Health Awareness North to South ride (MHANTS) is to raise money for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), a national nonprofit suicide prevention agency.
Cutter also hopes his efforts will raise awareness and understanding about mental illness. "There is a stigma attached to depression and other mental illnesses that we need to end," said Cutter. "While cycling across the country, I hope to spread awareness for treatment options and resources, and reduce the stigma of mental illness."
Cutter started his ride June 28 near Deadhorse, AK and has traveled more than 2000 miles through the Yukon and British Columbia in Canada. He entered the U.S. through Washington on August 17. The 6500 mile journey will take him through 12 states across the heart of the U.S., with stops scheduled in locations such as Seattle/Tacoma, WA, Missoula, MT, Norman, OK and Montgomery, AL.
Cutter is documenting his adventure on the website www.mhants.org. The site includes detailed information on the cyclist's route and an insightful blog that features unique and interesting photos that further illustrate the experiences he has encountered along the way.
Communities along the route are invited to welcome Cutter to their cities and towns and host bicycle events of their own, which Cutter can participate in. Such efforts are under way in Tacoma, WA, Denver, CO and Orlando, FL. Interested groups can contact SAVE at 952-946-7998 for more information.
Suicide is a national public health crisis that is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of death among 25-34 year olds. SAVE works to prevent suicide through public awareness and education, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and serves as a resource to those touched by suicide. To learn more about SAVE, visit www.save.org