Eric Ward is planning to go across country cycling for MAY is mental health awareness month.
Ward has been doing competitive cycling and endurance cycling for a few years and has already participated in over one hundred competitions and races in different parts of the country. He tells his story about dealing with mental health challenges on his blog for NAMI:
I was in my early 30s with three small children that depended upon me, when I lost my well-paying job. I went on COBRA insurance, but it quickly ran out. I was paying cash for my therapist, psychiatrist and for my prescriptions. Then my money was completely gone. I was losing my home and my therapist told me that he could not ethically take my money anymore. I was devastated. I had nowhere to turn. I was obviously nonfunctional at the time, as opposed to now where I am considered high functional, but my therapist gave me his email and told me that I could communicate with him via email for free. To sum it up in a few words; he saved me.
I didn’t have the money for phone, computer or internet, but once a week I would ride my garage sale bike to my local library and email my therapist.
This was the hardest time of my life and I needed help.
With the help of good medical professionals and support, Eric Ward was able to get out of that period of his life. He found that cycling and endurance racing really gave him purpose. He even started promoting charitable organizations like Bring Change 2 Mind, and NAMI, and La Via Sana through his cycling. He began blogging and telling his story.
Eric has had a lifelong dream of going across the United States and La Via Sana is hoping this Journey of Endurance will inspire many people to live their dreams, despite mental health challenges, or chronic illnesses.
Help Eric Ward get across the United States and prove that We are not Alone! We are not Invisible! and that Stigma has no place in true recovery. For more information, see Eric’s website, Mental Anguish Cycling.