Black Dog riders raise awareness for depression and suicide prevention.
Written by Jennifer Cornet
Black Dog Ride began in Australia in 2009 as one man’s ride to raise awareness of depression. The ride inspired thousands and developed into a national suicide prevention charity involving countless motorcycle riders who have raised over $2,000,000 for mental health services.
The journey began six years ago when the founder, Steve Andrews, rode over 9,000 miles on an epic 32-day awareness-raising odyssey which he called his “Black Dog Ride around Australia.” Andrews carried with him a plush black dog representing the “black dog of depression” and fostered community awareness of depression everywhere he rode.
Since then, he and his growing team of Black Dog Riders have coordinated 73 Black Dog Rides in every corner of Australia to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention. Rides take place several times a year and range from 200 riders to a massive 6,750 riders. There are options to participate in single-day rides as well as rides that last several weeks.
In 2015, Andrews and his riders brought this worthy cause to the United States. In September, 65 Australian motorcyclists— in a nation over 15,000 miles from home — rode cross-country to raise awareness and funds for depression and suicide prevention. The mission is to make more Americans aware of depression and suicide prevention, and raise $200,000 to train people in Mental Health First Aid for first responders and military members.
Andrews shares, “We’re excited to do in the United States what we’ve been doing to raise awareness about depression and suicide in Australia for more than five years. With one-in-five Americans suffering from a mental illness, like the depression that took the lives of my mother and my best friend’s wife, Americans should care enough to help raise the $200,000 needed to bolster the efforts of Mental Health First Aid USA.”
To learn more about the Black Dog Ride,