‘Let’s Ride’ promotion with Blue Bikes prioritizes mental health

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2022

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The COVID-19 pandemic was not just a public health crisis – it also triggered a steep increase in mental health needs. According to the World Health Organization, from 2020-2021 there was a 25% worldwide increase in the number of people experiencing depression and anxiety.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reminds Louisianians that it’s important to regularly check in with yourself about how you’re feeling and how well you are handling any challenging life situations.

“While it’s always important to check in on your mental health, it’s become even more important in the past two years,” said Dr. Jeremy Wigginton, Blue Cross medical director. “Our mental health affects what we think and how we feel, making it an important piece of our overall health and well-being.”

Mental health affects physical health, Dr. Wigginton said. “When people are dealing with stress, anxiety or depression, they often have symptoms like headaches, stomach issues or sleep disruption. Living with that for a long period of time can affect your body’s ability to fight off infections. It can also make any long-term health conditions you have worse. That’s why it’s important to regularly check in on how you’re doing. And, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.”

Dr. Wigginton recommends making mental health discussions a regular part of checkups with your health care provider. “You ask your provider to check your blood pressure and blood sugar numbers so you can see how you’re doing and catch any problems early – do the same thing for your mental health,” Dr. Wigginton said. “Let your provider know if you’re going through any big life changes or difficulties. If you’re overwhelmed or you’re struggling just to get through your daily activities, tell your provider. Your provider is there to help you be as healthy as possible and can work with you on steps to take or prescribe medication if that’s appropriate for your situation.”

One great way to lower feelings of anxiety and depression is to get healthy, aerobic exercise, Dr. Wigginton said. “Exercise increases blood flow in the brain and causes your body to release hormones that boost positive feelings,” he said. “Getting exercise also increases your energy levels so you feel more confident and motivated to deal with challenges.”

To raise awareness of mental health and give opportunities for healthy exercise, Blue Cross has partnered with Blue Krewe, the nonprofit operator of Blue Bikes in New Orleans, to sponsor a free ride promotion during May.

Riders can use the code LetsRide to get one free, 30-minute Blue Bikes ride.

How to ride:


Download the Blue Bikes NOLA app, which is available in the App Store and Google Play.  To redeem your promo code and start your free ride, open your Blue Bikes NOLA app and tap on your name in the upper-left corner. This will pull up a sidebar of account options. Tap on “promo codes,” which will take you to the code redemption screen. Enter the promo code LetsRide in the field provided and tap “submit.” This will give a free, 30-minute ride. Each individual rider can only use this code one time through Tuesday, May 31. The Blue Bikes free ride codes are only valid for trips within the bikeshare program’s service area.

Riders will be charged the standard Blue Bikes rate of 15 cents per minute plus a $1 unlocking fee for any time they ride outside of the free 30 minutes. All other standard Blue Bikes fees such as out-of-hub convenience charge and out-of-service-area fee apply.

Show us how you used the LetsRide code by posting photos on your personal social media, tagging Blue Bikes (@BlueBikesNOLA) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (@BCBSLA), using the hashtags #CheckIn and #LetsRide.