Black Dog Institute: Deakin University cycling team prepares for 3500km fundraiser
A group of Deakin University students is putting the pedal to the metal, cycling 3500km on a mental health fundraiser.
Led by Deakin medical student David Coote, the riders hope to raise awareness of mental health issues and start conversations to reduce the stigma.
They set off from Geelong on November 27 and plan to cycle all the way to Perth.
They have raised $33,000 of their $40,000 target for the Black Dog Institute.
Mr Coote said members of the team had been affected by mental health issues and suicide.
“I lost two of my uncles to suicide within a decade of each other, and the hardest part was no one saw it coming,” he said.
“Mental illness is known to be strongly linked within families, but very little is known about the specific genetic components that contribute to depression and other diseases.”
The team will travel from Geelong to north of Adelaide before crossing the Nullarbor and cycling up through southern WA to arrive in Fremantle by December 12.
Mr Coote encouraged people to ask loved ones if they were OK and be prepared to listen carefully to their responses.
“There’s a damaging stigma attached to mental illness,” he said.
“Almost one in two Australians will suffer from mental illness and only a third of those people will seek help.
“No other chronic diseases are like that. And we need that to change.”
Donate at teamblackdog. everydayhero.com/au/crossin-the-bor
Originally published as Pedal power chases black dog across Nullarbor