Earlier this year, a group of 20 mental health clinicians travelled 4,250km over eight days, attending five MHPN network meetings and a community gathering as a fund-and-awareness-raising mission for mental health research, especially in rural and remote Australia.
With the slogan ‘adventure before dementia’ the group of mental health motorcyclists left from Perth’s Cottesloe Beach on April 14, taking night stops in seven towns and cities before arriving in Sydney’s Bondi Beach on April 22. Along the way psychiatrists presented at MHPN network meetings at Kalgoorlie, Port Augusta, Broken Hill, Cobar and Orange, donating the fee paid by MHPN to the fundraising.
The initiative, known as ‘Psychs on Bikes’, was organised by Sydney psychiatrist Dr Joe Dunn, with fundraising directed towards the Australasian Centre for Rural and Regional Mental Health.
In 2013 Psychs on Bikes will be investigating what they can do to reduce the suicide rate in farming and mining communities and Psychs on Bikes may seek legal and financial recognition as a charity.
In the meantime, the group had so much fun in April that a year is too long to wait to ride again. So Joe has proposed a ride in Tasmania in November, using it as the first ride to address the suicide prevention message in some small communities. The potential ride would take place on Monday 12th –Sunday 18th November 2012. A route is yet to be determined.
The mission is to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention in remote and rural areas. The riders would look at stopping and giving presentations in townships with populations of 2,000- 10,000, with the aim of getting GPs in the room with mental health professionals to discuss reducing the suicide rate.
Joe has 6-8 people who are keen to do the ride, but more interest is needed to warrant organising. The ride is open to psychiatrists, psychologists, GPs, mental health nurses, social workers and any other mental health professionals.
Find out more
If you are interested in taking part in a Tasmanian Psychs on Bikes ride in November, or would like to learn more please fill in the below expression of interest survey or email, making sure to leave your name and contact details: