The Black Dog Ride around Australia has concluded for 2014 and raised $400,000 for Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid.
Instead off the usual ride to the Red Centre, the fifth annual ride circumnavigated Australia to honour Steve Andrews who completed the first Black Dog Ride around the continent in 2009 by himself following the suicide of his mother and best friend’s wife. Steve founded the Black Dog Ride in 2009 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation founded, whose mission is to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
This year, 55 riders, six support crew and two media crew travelled 14,500km around Australia from Bateau Bay, NSW to Bondi, NSW. Check out their full 32-day itinerary.
The average daily distance travelled was 540km and the longest distance in one day was 839km. Along the way, the Black Dog Riders enjoyed at least 49 organised meals with community members.
Apart from the stalwarts who did the entire “lap”, there were also State Rides which intersected the main ride at various points. About 450 State Riders rode an average of 3200km in seven days within their home state to help raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
The Black Dog Ride around Australia has raised $400,000 for theEveryday Hero Campaign, Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid.
As part of the fundraising, BMW Motorrad gave away a BMW R nine T motorcycle in the Lifeline Black Dog Ride Raffle. Winner was Suzanne McIver, of Gosford who picked up her bike from Worthington BMW Motorcycles. The Black Dog Ride Raffle raised over $60,000 for the cause.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians under the age of 45 with one suicide attempt every 10 minutes in Australia. Some 80% of all suicides are by men, with men in regional locations experiencing much higher rates of suicide than the national average.
One in five Australians will experience mental illness every year. Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in Australia and depressive disorders are the most common identifiable risk factor for suicide.
Lifeline’s Online Crisis Chat service reaches out to young and remotely located Australians who are reluctant to seek help through traditional telephone crisis lines or face-to-face counsellors. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) conducts courses which teach mental health first-aid strategies to better equip the public to helping those experiencing depressive and mental disorders.