One life is lost to suicide every three hours but the Black Dog riders soon hitting the road are hoping to change the statistic.
The Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer will be held on March 18, raising money for Lifeline Central West. The participants will leave from Macquarie Inn at 9am and travel to Mendooran, Dunedoo and back to the city.
Last year’s event had 300 people take part, an all-time record.
Black Dog Ride’s CEO David Peach said he believed fostering awareness of depression in communities was the best catalyst for preventing the tragedy of suicide.
“Thousands of Black Dog Riders hitting the highways across the nation on Sunday March 18 will drag the black dog out of the shadows and kick-start community conversations around mental illness,” Mr Peach said.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australians under 45 years old. It is believed there is a suicide attempt every 10 minutes in Australia.
More than 80 per cent of the Black Dog Ride’s participants had either lived with depression or where caring for someone who did, Mr Peach said.
“People with lived experience leading their community on a Black Dog Ride and sharing their stories is empowering and shines a beacon of hope which highlights that mental illness can be managed successfully,” he said.
Black Dog Ride Dubbo/NSW coordinator Wayne Amor said supporters of the ride were welcome to have breakfast at the Macquarie Inn from 7am. There will also be a morning tea in Dunedoo at about 10.30am and a post-ride lunch at the Commercial Hotel at about 12pm with raffles, live music and a Black Dog Ride meal deal.
Black Dog Ride’s annual 1 Dayer aims to start a conversation about depression and suicide prevention. The event has been held in Dubbo for five years. During that time more than $35,000 has been donated to Lifeline Central West, Mr Amor said, which has mostly gone to continue training volunteer phone counsellors.
Register for the ride at: www.blackdogride.com.au.