Black Dog Ride across USA begins

Black Dog Ride

Sixty-five Australians have started the first international Black Dog Ride in the USA.

They are riding 7000km from New York to LA, visiting 18 cities in 21 days to kick start conversations about suicide prevention.

Black Dog Ride founder and BMW rider Steve Andrews says they will be riding hired Harley-Davidson Touring bikes.

BDR founder Steve Andrews
BDR founder Steve Andrews

He says their mission in America is to engage US military veterans and first responders (Firefighters, Police, Paramedics) in conversations around suicide prevention.

Due to the nature of their work, US Military Veterans and First Responders are at high risk for developing depression, anxiety and PTSD, and they subsequently have a tragically high rate of suicide, he says.

Black Dog Ride across AmericaBlack Dog Ride is partnering with Mental Health First Aid USA to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training scholarships for military veterans and first responders.

Of course, Winston the well-known furry mascot for Black Dog Ride, is also along for the ride. You can track Winston and his Black Dog Rider’s location every single day across their 7000km ride to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention throughout the USA.

Black Dog Ride across America
Winston

The annual Australian Black Dog Ride finished last month with about 350 riders and about 50 pillions raising more than $300,00 to bring the seven-year total to more than $2 million. Funds raised go to Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid.

The American ride is the first international event and Steve says there has been interest from other countries including the UK and New Zealand.

READ ABOUT THE GOBAL INTEREST

Meanwhile, if you want to help the 2015 Black Dog Ride across America, you can donate in $US to help fund MHFA scholarships for military veterans and first responders.

2 Comments

  1. Absolutely fantastic to see the acceptance and excitement surrounding this Australian ride event in the States.

    It’s about time that the subject of mental health issues in first responders and others in allied fields was recognised, destigmatised and acknowledged as part of the ‘injuries’ that these dedicated people suffer within their employment. Looking back, their eratic past behaviour can now be understood with causes now spoken about openly in their professions and the general community.

    I strongly recommend that governments, health providers, employers and the general community get behind these people whilst they are still employed and into retirement to acknowledge the issues so they can feel appreciated and supported so they can come to terms with their mental health issues in a positive manner.

    Good on the Black Dog Ride team and their supporters.

  2. Hey there Steve,
    My name is Ed Rodriguez and Steward and Annie are our sons in-laws and we would like to see you all arrive in Los Angeles on Oct 3rd. So could you let us know where in Los Angeles you plan to end your ride. I know L.A. well so a general location is all I need.
    Our best to your group for a Safe ride.
    Ed Rodriguez
    Battalion Chief, Retired
    Santa Barbara Co, Fire Dept.

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