BTRV For Mental Health
BTR founder John Mielke has always been very public and very open about his mental health challenges.
But he's also a believer that when you help others you go along for that ride!
In the fall of 2022, he posted on Facebook that he had an idea to turn an RV into a mobile broadcast studio that would travel anywhere and everywhere and facilitate conversations about mental health at a grass roots level with others who live with this disease. We'd appear at community events, live on locations at businesses across Canada and, eventually, the USA, and at all times, the door would be open to anyone who wanted to sit down and tell their story. The RV would be equipped with microphones, internet and the ability to do both podcast and live on air perfomances.
A short time later, an RV was offered for $3,000! It had been badly vandalized, with the cabinets ripped off of their hinges, the interior caked in fire extinguisher residue... For 4 years it sat in a field, unused.
After seeing it, he turned to his social media followers to share his vision and the opportunity that had been presented. Within hours the $3,000 had been donated by individuals who wanted to see this vision come to life. By the next day, over $6,000 was raised!
The RV was purchased and the next challenge was to get it out of the field and into his driveway. With help from McCarthy Automotive (a longtime sponsor of BTR) it was made mechanically sound.
Over the fall and winter, John spent hours cleaning and repairing the interior. Cabinets were repaired, the fire extinguisher residue cleaned out of every nook and cranny, flooring repaired, seating areas deep cleaned, then cleaned again, then cleaned again... Propane tank replaced, power supplies repaired and the exterior meticulously brought back to life!
By spring 2023, Starlink's satellite internet was added, microphones were installed, and on May 6th, the BTRV For Mental Health made its first official appearance and the station's annual HUGS AT HOG'S BACK (Ottawa ON) get together! Two guests sat down and had a conversation, our second in a series of podcasts now available called BUMPS IN THE ROAD.
The BTRV For Mental Health is now on the road, and booked to be on location in Kingston ON, Peterborough ON, Ottawa ON, Saint John NB, Sussex NB, St. Martins NB and more!
Wherever you see the BTRV, you are most welcome to sit down with us and share your journey... And all of the bumps in the road you have experienced.
See our EVENTS PAGE to find out where we'll be next!