General News Stigma Reduction — 12 November 2013
Black Dog Cycle Across Australia: pedalling for mental health

A group of 36 cyclists are pedalling from Perth to Sydney in a bid to raise funds and awareness for mental illness.

The Black Dog Cycle Across Australia team left the west coast on Saturday in the attempt to cover the 4200km in just a week.

Founder and rider Neil Jackson said many of the cyclists had been affected by mental illness or knew someone who had, and they wanted to share the message that it is OK to ask for help. 422644-black-dog-cycle

Mr Jackson said depression was a growing problem in Australia, particularly in regional areas.

“Young people especially are vulnerable to mental disorders,” he said.

“We need to demystify depression as so many individuals suffer in silence.

“Many more people don’t even realise they have a problem.

“There should be no social stigma or social shame attached to experiencing depression.”

The group has already raised more than $160,000 for the Black Dog Institute, which researches the treatment and prevention of mood disorders.

They will arrive in Centennial Park, Sydney, on November 16.

This article first appeared on Perth Now on 11 November, 2013.

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