Bikers to bring black dog to heel

2564 black dog ride OKLETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – More than 60 motorcycle enthusiasts from across Victoria and Tasmania will depart on August 10 for an epic week long interstate adventure to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.

 

The VIC/TAS leg of Black Dog Ride’s Top End 2018 mental health campaign will roll out of Castlemaine at 9.30am and cover around 4000 kilometres over seven days before reaching Darwin, where they meet with hundreds of likeminded Black Dog Riders from around Australia to celebrate the power of conversations in mental health recovery.

 

The Black Dog Riders, men and women ranging in age from 28 to 79, will be meeting with communities in Mildura, Port Augusta, Coober Pedy, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek, fostering a safe space to talk about mental illness and suicide and encouraging help seeking behaviours.

 

On August 17, more than 300 Black Dog Riders from around the country will meet in Katherine to ride en masse for the final leg into Darwin. Black Dog Ride’s Top End 2018 Finale Celebration will be held at Darwin’s iconic Croc Cove.

 

Black Dog Ride began in 2009 as a ride to raise awareness of depression, and has evolved into a national health promotion charity involving thousands of Australians with lived experience of mental illness and suicideation who inspire the nation with their passion for preventing suicide.

 

Black Dog Ride’s community health projects are amongst the largest of their kind in Australia that are organised, conducted and involve participants with lived experience. Black Dog Ride does not receive any government funding.

 

Funds raised during the trip will be used to benefit grass roots community mental health projects throughout Australia.

 

So far Black Dog Ride has raised more than $2.5m for mental health and suicide prevention programs nationwide, including Lifeline Australia’s Crisis Support Chat service, Men’s Sheds, training 1000 youth in teen Mental Health First Aid, Samaritans Crisis Support Service, and local Headspace Centres.

 

Fiona Duffield

Black Dog Ride Australia

 

 

 

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