Over $2.2 million raised to support national mental health services

Released 20/03/2017

More than 7000 motorcyclists from over 30 different regions across the country will today participate in the Black Dog Ride to improve understanding of depression and suicide prevention, fostering mental health awareness nationally.

The Black Dog Ride, which began in 2009 as one man’s ride to raise awareness of depression, is now a national charity including thousands of Australian motorcycle riders who together have raised over $2.2 million for mental health and suicide prevention services.

“Suicide remains the leading cause of death for people under the age of 45, with an average of eight Australians taking their lives daily,” Minister for Mental Health Minister Rattenbury said. “Locally, we lose one Canberran to suicide each week—a tragic statistic.

“Today’s Black Dog Ride highlights the importance of tackling the stigma around mental health concerns by taking that first step of having a conversation with those around us, ensuring those around us feel supported in asking for help.

“Here in the ACT, we are committed to improving mental health support for those in need. We are in process of establishing a dedicated Office for Mental Health to roll-out and oversee mental health services, develop a strategy that sets targets for suicide reduction, and provide more support for young people here in the ACT,” Minister Rattenbury said.

“As suicide is a preventable cause of death, we must act to ensure that those in need can access support when they need it most, and most importantly save lives,” Minister Rattenbury added. “A conversation is a first step.”

If you or someone you know needs support call Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis line on 13 11 14.

For more information on the Black Dog Ride visit http://www.blackdogride.com.au/view/upcomingrides.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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