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2021 BIG RIDE IS ON!

Updated: Apr 18

There's nothing more exciting than the anticipation of an epic adventure! This is what the Psychs on Bikes Big Ride is for 25 mental health professionals who have donated their expertise, time and bodies to ride thousands of kilometres to deliver mental health services to Australians in rural and remote communities.


IN A NUTSHELL

In May, psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health nurses are leaving Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane to meet and ride over 16,000 kms around Australia over six weeks.


The trip will visit cattle stations in central Queensland and the Northern Territory. Psychs will engage with hundreds of staff in conversations about their health and wellbeing.


WHY VISIT CATTLE STATIONS?

Suicide rates are higher for farmers than the general population and non-farming men in rural areas. Farming has a unique set of pressures, with farmers being more likely to suffer from depression caused by financial pressures and isolation. This is in addition to the medical problems more prevalent in rural and remote Australia including hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, obesity, basic lung function. These medical conditions are now major public health priorities with key prevention targets.


Our aim is to help cattle station staff recognise the signs of mental health distress and where to go for help. In addition, we will share preventative measures to nurture position mental fitness and wellbeing.


WHAT DO YOU DO IN THESE COMMUNITIES?

Our motorbikes provide a unique way to reach men who might otherwise not

engage in a discussion about their mental health. Having a chat while standing

together to discuss our motorcycles breaks the ice for our health professionals to

interact, assess and raise awareness of current issues and potential solutions.


When we visit communities in rural and remote Australia we offer:

› free physical and mental health checks for men and women

› educational talks to clinicians in hospitals and group practices about mental

health, including current diagnosis, therapy, and suicide prevention

› educational talks to the local community via local media, men’s sheds,

Psychs in the Pub, etc. about current mental health issues

› school visits to talk about mental health, careers, etc

› keynote presentations at major events, and

› bespoke approaches to specific community needs


We also speak to local media as we travel, to raise awareness in local

communities of approaches to mental health issues that may be of concern.



WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

16,000km around Australia in six weeks. I'm chaffing just thinking about it! Our Melbourne riders are heading inland, meeting Sydney POB riders in Dubbo. From there they'll meet our Brisbane crew in Augathella. They then hit the rode to visit cattle stations in central Queensland and Northern Territory. From Darwin, a few riders will head back home, while the rest of our thrill-seekers will continue down the west coast, across to south Australia before they face their real lives again.



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