Giant black dog will help motorbike riders tackle mental health issues
The coordinator of the Limestone Coast and Murray Mallee Black Dog Ride is on a mission to raise awareness, and to help people find help.
When tackling a difficult problem, it can’t hurt to have a giant inflatable dog by your side.
Winston the dog was presented to the regional coordinator of the Black Dog Ride, a mental health campaign, in Murray Bridge last Thursday.
Coordinator Rosa Merlino said the spectacle was about raising awareness of mental health issues such as depression – the “black dog” – and anxiety, and the fact that they were treatable.
“We ride to decrease the stigma of mental health and suicide,” she said.
“It is okay to not be okay.
“Mental health issues are no different to any other health issue.”
The next Limestone Coast and Murray Mallee Black Dog Ride will be on December 3, when motorcyclists from Morphettvale and Nuriootpa will stop in at Tailem Bend on their way to Meningie, where they will meet another group from Kingston South East.
The united groups will then share a Christmas lunch.
Ms Hillam will also lead a ride from Naracoorte to Murray Bridge next March, and participate in an eight-day ride across south-eastern Australia later in 2023.
Eight Australians die by suicide every day, according to the Black Dog Ride.
But growing awareness of mental health issues, building social connections between riders and linking people with support services all helped.
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