Moving Forward

Image Gallery

News Article / November 26, 2021

Capt Nicole Morrison

What do you do to cope when you’re struggling? Do you go for a run? Do you read a book? Do you meditate or do yoga? For those behind the group #MovingForward, riding their motorcycles gives them something positive to focus on when something is weighing on them.   

#MovingForward is a support group based out of Happy Valley – Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, for individuals who know someone struggling with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, or are struggling themselves. The group was founded in 2017 by a group of friends who had faced loss when one of their own died by suicide. The group acts not only as a support group, but also to raise awareness for mental health issues and support services. The group, who share a common love for motorcycles, organize an annual ride to raise awareness for mental health support and to honour and remember their fallen friend.       

The fifth annual awareness ride took place from August 6-7, 2021. The 1060 km route took the riders across the remote wilderness of Labrador from Happy Valley–Goose Bay to Labrador City and back again. Lieutenant Colonel (LCol) Guy Parisien, Wing Commander of 5 Wing Goose Bay participated in the ride, along with two other CAF members employed by 5 Wing, and 32 members of the local community. 444 Combat Support Squadron conducted a fly past over the riders to show their support.

It was a meaningful ride for LCol Parisien. From the logistic support required to get the bikers from Happy Valley Goose Bay to Labrador City, to the friendly biker who lent him a rain jacket when they were faced with inclement weather, the support that was felt throughout the ride really hit home how we as human beings should be supporting each other in our daily lives and how even the smallest words or actions, can help someone know that they have people in their corner.

"In the past, there was a large stigma surrounding conversations of mental health. Because of this, members suffering were resistant to seeking help, not wanting to appear ‘weak’," LCol Parisien stated. "Fortunately, as society becomes more educated, PTSD and other mental health issues are seen for what they really are; diagnosable disorders that can be treated, not weaknesses."

Not only have our words and our conversations changed to move away from the stigma, but there are a growing number of programs, support groups, and charities dedicated to helping those who are suffering, such as the motorcycle loving friends behind #MovingForward.

Stay up to date

Date modified: