Ride will fuel mental health services

Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times
South West suicide prevention co-ordinator Shelley O’Brien, Black Dog Busselton committee member John Leeuwin, Lamp youth program manager Paula Farley and Think Mental Health representative Kendra Grace will all participate in this Sunday’s ride.
Camera IconSouth West suicide prevention co-ordinator Shelley O’Brien, Black Dog Busselton committee member John Leeuwin, Lamp youth program manager Paula Farley and Think Mental Health representative Kendra Grace will all participate in this Sunday’s ride. Credit: Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Sarah Ison Busselton-Dunsborough Times.

Motorcyclists will take part in the Black Dog Ride this Sunday, contributing to nationwide suicide prevention and supporting local mental health services.

The Black Dog Ride, which is in its eighth year, takes place in more than 40 locations across the country and attracts about 7000 riders.

The South West leg is expected to see 250 riders take off from Busselton then stop in Nannup, before finishing in Collie.

Black Dog Ride Busselton co-ordinator Steve Ingram said the ride attracted bikers from as far away as Perth and aimed to “start the conversation” around depression.

“Those involved have a passion for getting this message across,” he said.

“It’s not a disease, it’s a condition and there’s always someone out there who can help.”

Mr Ingram said local donations would go straight to mental health service provider Lamp Inc.

Lamp youth program manager Paula Farley said the funds would help keep the organisation’s outreach bus on the road.

“The bus is out at least two times a week to go to local schools, down to the skate park and, where we can, to more rural areas,” she said.

“It’s a self-sustaining program so local donations from the ride allow us to keep the vehicle running.”

Ms Farley said the ride provided a huge talking point and lessened the stigma for men in particular to speak up about mental health.

“In terms of working in community mental health, Black Dog Ride is fantastic in promoting mental health awareness particularly around males regionally,” she said.

The newly spawned Think Mental Health Campaign will also provide support, offering branded clothing and prize packs on the day.

South West suicide prevention co-ordinator Shelley O’Brien said initiatives like Black Dog Ride and Think Mental Health were critical in encouraging men to reach out and have conversations about depression.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails