Riders take to the road for mental health cause

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee

The Black Dog Ride returns to Busselton to break the stigma around mental health on Sunday, March 17, with passionate organisers pleading with the community to discuss mental health issues.

Riders will assemble in Busselton Toyota’s Pre Delivery Centre in Kershaw Street to enjoy breakfast provided by the Busselton Lions before setting off for morning tea in Nannup, then heading to Donnybrook.

Black Dog Ride One Day co-ordinator Steve Ingram said the event promoted social inclusion and demonstrated people could always seek help for mental health issues.

“We want everyone to turn out on the day and talk about it as much as possible,” he said.

“Just have a good chat about how they’re going and how their mates are going.”

More than 7000 motorcycle enthusiasts from across Australia will participate in the annual suicide prevention ride.

Eight Australians take their lives every single day.

Shining Hope founder and first-time participant Dylan Oakley lost his 19-year-old son after an ongoing battle with depression in 2017.

Shining Hope provides care for family members who have lost loved ones to suicide.

“Everyone needs to be mindful that it is such a common problem in the community and there is no shame in asking for help,” he said.

Local organisers are supported by the WA Mental Health Commission’s One Life Suicide Prevention Team in Bunbury and Nannup’s Community Resource Centre.

This year the chosen recipient of funds raised by the Black Dog Ride Busselton is Lamp, an organisation shining a light on mental health issues.

Lamp recovery support worker Jesse Piperlilly said there were about 40 people coming through the Lamp facilities every Tuesday.

“We’re trying to draw attention to these issues and Black Dog Ride is a great way to demonstrate how many people are affected both individually and families,” she said.

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