Break the cycle: Marathon charity ride to help mental health research

October 10, 2019 BY

A GROUP of university medical students will cycle a massive distance next month to help those with mental illness.

Joey Coote and a team of his fellow Deakin students will cycle from Geelong to Fremantle in November to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute.

The institute focuses on transnational research that combats mental illnesses and the stigma that surrounds them.

The team is aiming to raise $30,000, but Mr Coote says this is only part of what they are looking to achieve.

“We’re trying to get our contacts talking about mental illness and trying to reduce the stigma that’s attached to it in the hope that people struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses are able to chat about it with people they’re close to so they can seek help before things get really bad.”

Mr Coote also noted that mental illness is severely underfunded in the world of medical research, hence the team’s decision to give the funds to the Black Dog Institute.

The journey from Geelong to Fremantle will see them cover about 3,300 kilometres.

Nearly all of the participants are Torquay residents. Many have their own personal reasons for raising funds and awareness for mental illness.

Mr Coote himself has been motivated by the tragic consequences of mental illness, having lost two uncles to suicide in recent years.

“It’s just been kind of scary, because their fight with depression was largely unknown to the rest of the family and people that they were close with,” he said.

“It enlightened me to the insidious nature of it and the fact that it’s so poorly understood and poorly accepted to the point where my uncles weren’t able to share that information about how down they were to those they were closest with.”

To contribute to the team’s cause, head to crossin-the-bor.

Support is available for those who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Line on 1800 659 467, Mensline on 1300 789 978 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.