Editorial – Cement the cracks

Editorial on Clara Hughes big ride from the May 28 Grand Forks Gazette.

Grand Forks is fortunate enough to get an Olympic medalist passing though town this week. Clara Hughes has won six medals including a gold, silver and two bronze in the Winter Olympics, and two bronze in the Summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.She is the only person to have won multiple medals in both.Those are amazing enough feats, but Clara’s story started much earlier than that.  You see, Clara has had to battle depression and other mental health issues along the way.The main reason for her big bike ride across Canada is to raise awareness for those issues, which many people face on a daily basis.In Grand Forks, most people can see or read about the negative results of what can happen when mental health issues aren’t treated whether it’s a hastily build and dangerous “shantytown” or the weekly police or court report.A lack of proper facilities to treat mental health patients can have devastating effects: drug and alcohol addiction, depression, anxiety, abuse, violence and others.The courts are full of mental health patients who “fell through the cracks” and were unable to receive the proper treatment.With proper treatment and support, Clara was able to manage her mental health and rise to the top of the athletic world.Be sure to come out to Gyro Park on Friday and cheer on Clara when she comes through town. In addition, be sure to urge your local government to support proper health care for everyone.

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