Riding for mental health awareness

March 21, 2024 BY

For a cause: The Black Dog Ride sees motorcyclists travel around Australia, including through Bendigo, to support mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Photo: SUPPLIED

LAST Sunday saw thousands of motorcycle riders from across the state take part in the Black Dog Ride.

Fifty motorbike rides were held in different areas of the state, including Bendigo, with the aim of sparking conversation about depression and suicide prevention.

Victorian state coordinator, Bernie Garvey, said the day was an important way for the public to support the organisation.

“More than 3,000 lives are lost to suicide in Australia every year, and one in five Aussies will be affected by mental illness every year, with three million living with depression or anxiety,” he said.

“The tragic loss of loved ones to suicide is what drives Black Dog Ride to build a community culture of awareness, inclusion and acceptance, and we’d love for more people from the local community to get behind that in 2024.”

The idea is that the event will encourage the community to seek help and communicate with friends and family to allow everyone to lead a long and meaningful life.

Black Dog Ride Australia general manager Lawson Dixon said creating awareness is important in encouraging people to find help.

“We’ve been helping Aussies have conversations about mental health and suicide prevention for almost 14 years and we know that every conversation, every activity, every ride and every piece of awareness we help create has the potential to change lives for the better,” he said.

All funds raised from the day will go towards the organisation’s grants program which supports projects that raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention.

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, visit beyondblue.org.au or call their 24/7 hotline on 1300 22 4636. You can also visit lifeline.org.au or call them on 13 11 14 and help for young people is available at kidshelpline.com.au or by calling them on 1800 55 1800.