Motorcycles made an unmistakable rumble on Sunday as about 200 riders came together at Dubbo to break down the silence about mental illness.
Stephen Williams from Moree put his Harley-Davidson into gear to clock up the kilometres with thoughts of a loved one on his mind.
The tragic loss of his younger brother, who took his own life nine years ago, prompted Mr Williams to get involved with Black Dog Ride.
The charity raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention held its sixth annual 1 Dayer at Dubbo on Sunday.
Mr Williams returned for this year's ride determined to help.
He advocates the importance of awareness of mental health, fully on board Black Dog Ride's message of starting a conversation to encourage people to seek help.
"If people are aware of it, they'll talk about it, and... someone who's a bit shy about it perhaps may talk to somebody," he said.
Mr Williams had Black Dog Ride's soft toy mascot Winston as a passenger, and thoughts of his brother close to his heart.
"For sure, he [his brother] goes everywhere with me," he said.
"Once he went, I decided that I had to do twice as many ks on the bike because he's with me."
Ride organiser Wayne Amor said the event always averaged between 200 and 250 bikes per year and this year they had chosen to make their destination the rural district of Mungery, south-west of Narromine.
Feedback in previous years had reinforced to him the powerful purpose of Black Dog Ride.
"Absolutely, there's always someone, and they might just flick you a message on Facebook or on email or something like that, and say look this is great," he said.
"Some people have said, 'It's given me permission to talk about what's happening in my life' which it may be some mental health issue they've got, it might just be they've lost somebody, or they just didn't know there would be somebody out there who would listen.
"And that's what we want to really reinforce, is it might be your neighbour that will listen, it might be the person on the end of the phone at Lifeline that listens, but there's always going to be someone that will listen."
Robyn Cole came back to Dubbo for the "great cause".
"What it means, the cause behind it, the depression, it's a big thing, so the more we are aware of it, the more we know of it, it's amazing and it can help people, absolutely," she said.
- Lifeline 131114
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