It all started in 2009 when founder Steve Andrews rode around the country to raise awareness of suicide prevention after a friend’s suicide. Steve raised a lot of awareness and $34,000 for the Suicide Call Back Service.
Over the next four years, riders in each state left their capital city and headed to the Red Centre for annual Black Dog Rides.
In 2014, Steve shook up the usual formula with a lap around the continent. The BDR returned to the Red Centre last year and Steve threw in a special Harley ride across the USA as well!
This time, the Black Dog Ride will spread the message of hope and raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention into every corner of the continent with separate rides in each state and the NT.
Steve says last year’s ride to the Red Centre attracted about 350 riders and about 50 pillions who raised more than $300,00 to bring the seven-year total to more than $2 million.
Let’s hope this year’s state rides improves on that number of riders and raises even more funds for Lifeline’s Online Crisis Support chat service and Mental Health First Aid’s teen MHFA program in Australian Secondary Schools.
Next year’s Black Dog Ride will head to Tasmania.
“Poor old Tassie has been left out a bit,” Steve says.
“I didn’t go on my first ride because I was advised there would be black ice in winter and we didn’t go on our national lap for the same reasons, so we will go in 2017 in late October and early November.”