On your bike: pedalling for mental health
Published: 12 September, 2017
TourXOz encourages cyclists to challenge themselves physically and mentally by riding relay across Australia while supporting the Black Dog Institute. And in 2017, they aren't slowing down.
The Western Australian Deputy Premier Roger Cook is donning the lycra to support not-for-profit cycling charity TourXOz as the group rides relay to Broome, leaving Perth on Saturday 16 September, 2017.
TourXOz encourages cyclists to challenge themselves physically and mentally by riding relay across Australia while raising awareness about mental health and well-needed funds for the Black Dog Institute.
”Our Government understands the important relationship between physical and mental health,” the Deputy Premier, who is also the Minister for Health and Mental Health, said.
“I encourage everyone to get started and just get moving in whatever way you enjoy. Taking the first step, just getting out the door or starting your routine can be the hardest, but it’s worth it.
“Promoting this important relationship is just one of the reasons I am proud to support TourXoz.”
At 7.00am on Saturday, 16 September, 65 cyclists (including former AFL legend and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes and SBS cycling commentator Mike Tomalaris) will leave Perth’s Kings Park (Roe Garden memorial – Forrest Drive) and ride, on average 150kms per day, towards their destination, Broome – a distance of 2,500kms.
The motto for the ride is ‘Exercise Your Mood’, as part of the Black Dog Institute’s campaign that highlights the need for Australians to get active and address the importance of regular exercise for not only maintaining physical health, but good mental health too.
TourXOz organiser and co-founder Neil Jackson says that the event has grown since its inception in 2013 when cyclists crossed from Perth to Sydney raising nearly $300,000. TourXOz is now the largest, single community fundraiser for the Black Dog Institute having raised almost a million dollars.
“In 2017 cyclists will be visiting communities and inviting them to talk openly about their own situations.
“For many individuals, in particular men, talking about mental health is considered a sign of weakness. Men especially are three times more likely to take their own lives than women.
“To help us try and break through these barriers, TourXOz has invited Adam Goodes to join us on the ride. He is inspirational in helping the Indigenous community where suicide is the leading cause of death for individuals, 15 to 35 years of age.
“He’s also a supporter of the Black Dog Institute’s ‘Exercise Your Mood’ campaign. I’m sure the local communities will be overjoyed to kick a few goals with their sporting hero.”
Black Dog Institute Director and Chief Scientist, Professor Helen Christensen, said reducing stigma around help-seeking is an important message the riders will share throughout TourXOz.
“The TourXOz team embark on this ride for all the right reasons. It comes directly from sharing their own lived experience, or that of friends and relatives, in the hope of encouraging open discussions around mental illness and encouraging people to seek the help they need.
“Just like diabetes and cancer, depression is an illness that can be tackled and managed with the right care and support.
“By spreading this message across the continent and raising vital funds for Black Dog Institute’s research and education programs, the ride will have a huge impact on the lives of people touched by mental illness.”
The riders will also be joined by senior executives and major TourXOz sponsors including Microsoft, Telstra, Jabra, AWS, KJR, Versent and Megaport.
The event managed by logistics team Entoure will hug the Indian Ocean coastline stopping off at Geraldton, Carnarvon, Monkey Mia, Coral Bay, Karratha, and Port Hedland before heading into Broome where cyclists will be met by Broome’s Shire President, Ron Johnston.
Find out more about Exercise Your Mood here on the website
TourXOz | Ron Krueger - 0431 911 240 or send an email
Black Dog Institute | Emily Cook- 0455 100 277 or send an email
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following national helplines:
LIFELINE COUNSELLING SERVICE - 13 11 14
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)