Riding challenge cycles in with messages for schools

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Ride for youth participants with students from St Mary MacKillop College.
Camera IconRide for youth participants with students from St Mary MacKillop College. Credit: Pictures: Jackson Lavell-Lee, Jackson Lavell-Lee

St Mary MacKillop College students got a first-hand account of how mental illness can affect a family on Thursday when the annual Hawaiian Ride for Youth passed through Busselton.

Riders spoke to a group of Year 10 students about personal experiences of the heartache caused by the death of family members, urging teenagers to seek help if they were struggling with mental health issues.

So far this year, the Ride for Youth has raised more than $2 million on rides from Albany to Perth and Jurien Bay to Perth.

The cyclists visit high schools along the route to engage and inform students on issues such as youth suicide, depression, anxiety and self-harm, as well as the services Youth Focus provides. Hawaiian Ride for Youth cyclist Simon Carroll said raising funds for free youth counselling and raising awareness of mental health issues were the aims of the ride.

“It’s less about our sacrifice than what we can do for the kids in the communities,” he said.

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“We wake up at 4.30am four days in a row and take this gruelling ride.

“I’m a long-term cyclist and it has been difficult, but if we can change lives it’s worth it.”

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