An Ontario man is cycling across Canada to raise awareness about mental health, and this afternoon he found himself passing through Medicine Hat.

 

23-year-old Martin Bauman is pedaling over 7,500 kilometres on his cross country trek. He started in Vancouver on June 6, and he’s planning to finish in St. John’s by the end of August.

 

Riding under the motto “Keep Pushing – Martin’s Ride for Mental Health”, Bauman has raised nearly $10,000 for the Defeat Depression Campaign. The young man says he’s seen many people close to him suffer in silence from mental illness. When he was 10 a cousin of his committed suicide, and he says his father went through a serious bout of depression a few years ago. Bauman himself says he’s struggled with social anxiety, which stems back to his time in middle school.

 

“I couldn’t love myself the way I needed to,” said Bauman. “So that’s been a process for me. Learning that I am OK just the way I am.”

 

Bauman is hoping to lessen the stigma surrounding seeking mental health help with his ride. He’s traveling all by himself for the moment, but he’s hoping a friend of his can soon join him for the rest of the trip.