Many of the cyclists on a multimillion dollar charity ride through Western Australia are motivated by the memory of a loved one who took their own life.
The Hawaiian Ride for Youth raises awareness of suicide, depression and self-harm in young West Australians.
Participants also raise funds for not-for-profit organisation Youth Focus, to provide free counselling services to young people and their families.
The ride has raised more than $15 million over the past 15 years.
It has grown from 24 cyclists who raised $15,000 in 2003 to a record 173 cyclists with a $1.75 million target this year.
More than $1.5 million of that goal had been reached when riders rolled out of Albany and Geraldton yesterday.
Riding for a cause close to their hearts
This year the ride has four pelotons for the first time, clocking up more than 700 kilometres over five days.
Three pelotons travel separate coastal, inland and Wheatbelt routes from Albany to Perth, while a fourth from Geraldton to Perth is a new addition.
Along the way, riders stop at high schools and share their personal stories about depression and suicide.
For Simon Outhwaite, the talks are a powerful experience.
Mr Outhwaite is back on his bike for the third consecutive year.
He said he had lost a staggering 15 family members and friends to suicide.
“My mother took her life when she was 36,” he said.
“I’ve had two other family members take their lives … I know numerous other people.
“I would say every rider has a personal connection to the cause.”
Mr Outhwaite said speaking to students about mental health issues could be moving.
“It is or can be quite emotional for the kids,” he said.
“It definitely brings out their feelings, and the message that we give them is there is help, from either teachers, parents or organisations like Youth Focus.”
Mr Outhwaite is part of the group riding through Gnowangerup, Katanning, Narrogin, and Mandurah before arriving in Perth on March 25.
Building resilience in WA youth
Fourth-time rider John Gardner will be thinking of a school friend as he rides through Walpole, Pemberton, Busselton and Mandurah along the coastal route.
“I ride in memory of someone that I went to school with for a long time who took his life in Year 10,” he said.
“One of the guys I ride with, we ride for the same reason. That’s our own little personal tribute.”
Mr Gardner said suicide was the leading cause of death in young West Australians.
“The number one killer in our community of people aged between 12 and 24 is suicide,” he said.
“I think we … need to do something about that. I’ve got young children as well and … I think everyone in Western Australia needs to recognise that this is a big issue.
“Our youth are so precious — they are the future generation.
“If we can help build resilience in our youth and in our young people, that’s a good thing and it hopefully paints a bright future for Western Australia.”
In 2009, 2012 and 2015, the event won national fundraising and charity awards.
- 3 Ways Every Mom Should Try to Better the Mental Health of Kids
- Research Shows that Physical and Mental Health Can be Impacted in Less Than 10 Minutes
- Back pain may raise risk of mental health problems
- These Powerful Videos Want to Help You Talk About Your Mental Health
- How modern life affects our physical and mental health
- Depression: How to Improve Your Mental Health without Drugs
- NHS Trust Develops 'Silver Linings' App to Help Young People Manage Mental Health
- Sugar and mental health: A toxic combination?
- Increase in parity supports building out mental health informatics
- The Internet Is LOVING How This CEO Responded When His Employee Took A Mental Health Day
- Nutrition and Mental Health
- Pending mental health bills thrust into spotlight after US shootings
- Gang Membership Tied To Mental Health Problems
- Study: Secret to being happy includes good mental health and healthy relationship status
- The Toughest Charity Ride Ever
- How can you improve your mental health and well-being in 2016?
- Reports claim there is a mental health epidemic affecting two-thirds of children
- 7 Mental Health Benefits Of Being Outside
- Why X-Files’ Gillian Anderson Wants Women To Open Up About Mental Health
- How startup founders can fight stress and protect their mental health
WA charity ride peddles important mental health message have 819 words, post on www.abc.net.au at March 22, 2017. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.