Riding for life

Tuesday, 18th August, 2015

Wayne Amor and some of the other participants in the Black Dog Ride which arrived in the city yesterday. Wayne Amor and some of the other participants in the Black Dog Ride which arrived in the city yesterday.

By Andrew Robertson

It was the loss of three work colleagues that made Wayne Amor realise he needed to get involved in the fight against depression and suicide.

The bearded Dubbo local is among 100 riders taking part in this year’s Black Dog Ride to raise awareness of the issues and money for mental health services.

Over $2 million has been raised since founder and CEO Steve Andrews organised the first Black Dog Ride in 2009 following the death of his close friend’s wife to suicide. 

The majority of those taking part in the ride have also been affected in some way by suicide or depression, according to Mr Amor, either directly or through a family member, friend or work colleague.  

“We enjoy our riding and doing something like this allows us to give something back.”

A motorcycle ride might seem like a bit of an odd way to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention but, as Mr Amor points out, you get 100 motorbikes in town and “people immediately start talking”.

And the more people who start talking about depression and suicide, which killed over 2,500 people in 2013, the quicker the stigma surrounding the issues is likely to end. 

All the money raised from this year’s ride will be split between Lifeline and Mental Health First Aid, which runs training courses and programs. It will use its portion of the funds to go towards putting programs aimed at teens into schools.

The riders set off from Mount Panorama at Bathurst on Saturday and travelled to Dubbo, where they took part in a charity auction, before stopping over at Cobar.

After arriving in Broken Hill yesterday afternoon the group immediately chucked a lap of Argent Street before meeting at Lifeline, which is hosting the visitors.

Last night they kicked their heels up at a function held at the West Football Club.

Residents can catch up with the leather-clad bikers this morning at Kintore Reserve in Blende Street before the group heads off on the next leg of their journey that will ultimately take them to Uluru.

Mr Amor said the group’s main message to people feeling desperate and in need of help was look for help.

“There is someone who is going to be on the end of the line.”