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Ken Meldrum has joined motorbike riders from across the country for the Black Dog Ride to the Apple Isle in Tasmania to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
Mr Meldrum, a Police Liaison and Team Leader for Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services, said he took part in the 2015 ride to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and is looking forward to this year’s ride to Tasmania.
“The Black Dog ride gives me the opportunity to combine my two great passions - helping people with mental illness concerns and motorcycle riding,” Mr Meldrum said.
“My work involves speaking to men of all ages about mental health.
“Often the first step in a person’s recovery is knowing where to go to access information, help and support.
“Getting the chance to visit rural and isolated areas and speak with different groups about suicide, depression and anxiety is really humbling.”
Mr Meldrum said the Black Dog Ride aims to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention, but to also raise funds for important mental health first aid training for his colleagues.
“The issues in rural and remote areas across mental health are huge and support services can be sparse, sometimes simply because of the geography of our country.
“The funds I raise will help to provide Mental Health First Aid Training for Emergency Services staff so they are better able to support their co-workers,” he said.
Ken said as a child he enjoyed restoring and riding old motorcycles with his father.
“I currently own three motorcycles - a 2000 Triumph Sprint that I take on the Black Dog, a 1977 Triumph Bonneville Silver Jubilee Model and a 1954 BSA that I take to Historical Rallies across South East Queensland and Northern NSW.
The Black Dog Ride will be held from 27 October to 6 November 6 2017, travelling from Queensland through towns including Texas, Gunnedah, West Wyalong, Port Melbourne and Devonport culminating in Launceston, Tasmania.
For more information about the ride visit www.blackdogride.com.au
The Metro South community can access local mental health services for information and assistance in times of mental health crisis 24 hours a day via a centralised phone number:
Phone: 1300 MH CALL (1300 64 22 55)