News

Bikers hit road to tackle black dog

By David Rak

Eight Australians take their life every day. That is one person every three hours.

Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in Australia and it is estimated there is a suicide attempt every 10 minutes.

Kylie Wheeler could not sit back and watch those statistics continue to grow, so she has teamed up with a group of other keen motorcyclists to hold a Black Dog Ride ‘1 Dayer’ in Seymour and district.

On the third Sunday of March each year the riders hit the road in every state and territory across Australia, ensuring mental health and suicide prevention is spoken about right across the country.

By 2018 this national awareness-raising activity mobilised more than 6500 people in 40 different regions.

The local ride will start at McDonald's Seymour at 8.30 am for check-in and registrations, before departing at 9.30 am and travelling around the district to towns including Ruffy, Yarck, Yea and Flowerdale before arriving at Trawool Estate for lunch and a raffle.

Kylie said her motivation for starting the ride locally was to continue to remove the stigma around mental health and suicide prevention.

“I have personal experience with mental illness, and I want people to know it’s all right to speak about it,” she said.

“You can come out the other side of a battle with the black dog. You can come out stronger and with the ability to help others.

“There is also a dire need for mental health and suicide prevention services in Seymour and district. I want to use the ride to advocate for more local services.”

The Seymour Black Dog Ride is on March 15. To register or for more information, visit blackdogride.org.au/view/ride-information/1-dayer-2020

Online registrations close March 13 and limited in-person registrations will be available at the event.