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Illnesses that affect the brain and cause emotional symptoms are among the most common and disabling. Despite marked advances in diagnosis and treatment, these illnesses remain an even greater challenge for the individual and their loved ones due to the persistent stigma associated with “mental” illnesses. Stigma interferes with the process of identifying people in need and obtaining good treatment. Community events that raise awareness have tremendous impact by educating people about illnesses that have a history of silence.

Bike for the Brain (B4B) is a mechanism to bring a wide variety of people together to work toward increased understanding about brain-based illnesses that have emotional and behavioral symptoms. The event will involve activities to encourage people of all ages to come together, have fun, and learn. The hope is that, someday, so-called “mental” illness will be brought into the public forum in a way that reduces stigma. This will allow people affected by these illnesses to come forward earlier for support and treatment. Earlier intervention will lead to more effective care and more complete recovery.

B4B 2009 will be in Mission, Kansas (near Kansas City) on Labor Day, September 7, 2009. There will be rides from 10 to 64 miles long and a 1 mile or 5K walk/fun run.

Check out the website at www.bike4thebrain.org
 
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