Ride and start a conversation.
That is the idea behind a Black Dog "one-dayer" ride, which will take off from Leeton next month and the whole community is invited to take part.
Whether you have a motorcycle, car, truck or ute, the event is aimed at getting everyone involved in a day of fundraising for mental health and starting important conversations.
The Black Dog Ride "one-dayer" is a short, one day motorcycle ride to be held in more than 40 communities across Australia, including Leeton, on Sunday, March 17.
This year's Leeton ride will leave from the Sycamore Street car park and take participants on a 249 km journey through Grong Grong, Collingullie, Lockhart, Boree Creek and back to Leeton.
There were 6000 participants across the nation in the 2023 one-dayer, but organisers want to encourage more community members to get involved in 2024 to make it the biggest event yet.
Leeton's Roly Zappacosta is the co-ordinator of the event here and said joining the Black Dog Ride's "one-dayer" was an enjoyable and meaningful way to help the organisation achieve its mission of starting conversations about depression and suicide prevention.
"More than 3000 lives are lost to suicide in Australia every year," he said.
"One in five Aussies will be affected by mental illness every year, with three million living with depression or anxiety.
"The tragic loss of loved ones to suicide is what drives Black Dog Ride to build a community culture of awareness, inclusion and acceptance, and we'd love for more people from the local community to get behind that in 2024."
By participating in the event, residents will help to break down the barrier of silence and encourage friends, family and colleagues to seek help to manage mental illness so they can lead a meaningful, fulfilling life.
Black Dog Ride Australia general manager Lawson Dixon said fostering awareness was the catalyst for encouraging help seeking behaviour and preventing suicide.
"We've been helping Aussies have conversations about mental health and suicide prevention for almost 14 years and we know every conversation, every activity, every ride and every piece of awareness we help create has the potential to change lives for the better," he said.
Funds raised through the event will help contribute to the Black Dog Ride Australia community grants program, which is focused on supporting initiatives that help people who suffer from mental illness, help prevent suicide, and raise awareness of both mental health and suicide prevention.
Schools, clubs, community groups and individuals can also raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention and support the vital work of Black Dog Ride by organising their own fundraising activities and events.
Those wanting to participate in the ride leaving from Leeton should resgister at events.humanitix.com/leeton-nsw-black-dog-ride-1-dayer-2024 or contact Mr Zappacosta at email@example.com.