Proceeds from Break the Cycle will be used by the AACAP to:
- fund innovative research initiatives;
- increase the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists; and
- help ensure that children suffering in silence get the treatment they need.
Dr. Kratochvil said $25,000 is the targeted fundraising goal for the Omaha event. More than $10,000 already has been raised through corporate sponsors. The public can donate by going to Nebraska 150 for Break the Cycle.
"We appreciate the governor joining the cause," said UNMC's Chris Kratochvil, M.D., a child psychiatrist, who is coordinating the ride in Omaha. "Hard as we try to dispel it, there is still a stigma in the U.S. when it comes to people receiving mental health care.
"It can be especially devastating for families when children struggle with their mental health. We hope this ride will help break down the misperceptions people have and allow them to better understand how important it is to seek treatment for mental health conditions. It can make a tremendous difference."
With this being Nebraska's 150th anniversary as a state, Dr. Kratochvil said the Nebraska participants are planning to ride a total of 150 miles over the course of two days. The ride will take place on the bike trails that run throughout Omaha.
Several local organizations are supporting Break the Cycle, Dr. Kratochvil said. These include UNMC/Nebraska Medicine, the Hawks Foundation, Creighton University, CHI Health, the Kim Foundation, Project Harmony and the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska. The Nebraska Regional Council of the AACAP also is supporting the event.
Dr. Kratochvil, who is associate vice chancellor for clinical research at UNMC and vice president for research for Nebraska Medicine, plans to ride all 150 miles along with his wife, Jillyn, who is a pediatrician for Children's Physicians and on the faculty of Creighton University Medical Center.
"Rather than open the event broadly, we have decided to focus on the commitment of community organizations," Dr. Kratochvil said. "In addition to the governor, participants in the day will include health care leaders, mental health professionals and other community leaders."
Participants can choose to ride both days, one day, or even part of one day, he said. Gov. Ricketts plans to ride on the morning of July 29 and will take a break to participate in a 9 a.m. news conference at UNMC.