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Riders rally for mental health

A LOCAL charity has received funding that will help create a national conversation about mental health.

Black Dog Ride recently placed second in the RACT Community Act of Royalty Program and received $2000.

The charity travels Tasmania and interstate to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

Black Dog Ride Tasmania coordinator Betty Parssey said it was an honour to be nominated as a charity of choice.

“Our method of developing awareness of depression is by riding motorbikes to a variety of communities and making ourselves available for the public to come and have a chat,” she said.

“Help is out there and this is what we encourage people to do and not be ashamed to admit they are struggling with mental health, which is no different to other health issues.

“Any loss of life is a tragedy and anything that can be offered to prevent this is paramount.”

In November last year, Black Dog Ride hosted the national ride to Hobart with 300 riders and support crew.

The Tasmanian riders completed a 1,500-kilometre journey, joining interstate riders at Blundstone Arena to conclude the event.

The charity raised a total of $5,450 and will fund emergency service volunteers to participate in basic Mental Health First Aid training.

RACT has supported Black Dog Ride for the past two-years and provides free roadside assistance to the riders if required.

Three charities are chosen by customers every quarter to participate in the RACT Community Act of Royalty Program.

They receive funding to spread awareness about their cause.

For more information, visit www.blackdogride.com.au or www.ract.com.au/Community-act-of-royalty.

Caption: Black Dog riders stand next to mascot Winston, who represents the “black dog of depression.”