For many people, riding a motorbike is a liberating expression and the open road can help with clearing your head. Motorbikes can also be positive for mental health and a lot has been done in recent years to shed light on the topic. People all over the world struggle with their mental health, yet many are still afraid to talk about how they feel for fear of being stigmatised. To help promote positive mental health, we’re taking a look into some charities and initiatives that involve motorbikes.
Mike King and the ‘I Am Hope’ Tour
This cross-country tour is taking place in New Zealand and involves mental health advocate Mike King speaking to young people about certain issues. Starting from March 1st, King will be addressing communities in 50 different towns about depression, anxiety and suicide. Over the 25-day journey, King and his friends will be riding 50 cc Suzuki and Vespa scooters.
King is hoping to inspire young people to address their mental health issues and not feel ashamed. “Many people suffer from it, but something can be done about it. We can help our young people by showing them that we care, and we’re there. We can help our young people when they feel like they’ve hit rock bottom. We are here to empower them by stripping away shame from their thoughts and feelings, and letting them know they can make it through.”
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2018
Taking place in September, The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is geared towards raising awareness for male mental health and prostate cancer. The campaign was founded in Australia in 2012 by Mark Hawwa. Riders all over the world dress up in their finest gear and raise money for men who are grappling with mental health problems. A key focus is on suicide prevention, with 510,000 men dying every year.
Riders are encouraged to make a donation and spread the word to get as many people involved as possible. You can register now and set up a fundraising page.
For more information be sure to go to https://www.gentlemansride.com
Reid brothers initiative
Mental health issues can affect anyone, young or old. For Dylan and Lawson Reid they were personally affected by the death of their sister Heidi, who they lost to depression. It inspired them to go on a two year motorbike journey and raise money for the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. The brothers travelled through six continents and 50 countries and returned to Australia in October 2017. They managed to raise around £490,100 and its initiatives like this that go a long way to helping raise awareness about depression.
Black Dog Ride
Black Dog Ride was started by Steve Andrews after his closest friend Jack killed himself. The first ride happened in 2009, with Steve turning it into a national suicide prevention charity in Australia. The ride is split up into two excursions: a short one day ride that brings together thousands of motorcyclists and a long distance ride of 3000 kms that takes place over a week. The second ride aims to engage regional communities.
The charity is another great example of how people can come together for a good cause and promote awareness for an issue that needs to be talked about more.