On Monday the 7th of November I will be commencing a 6 day, 700km+ bike ride from Canberra to Melbourne as part of the Chamberlain Foundations RAZOR RIDE to raise money for those battling with Mental Illness and who are deeply affected by loss and grief. ‘My Story’ or the reason behind this endeavour is outlined below and I share it with you to provide context. I would also ask that you consider the following:
* The single biggest killer in men aged under 45 years is suicide.
* In 2014, 4623 people took their own lives in Australia.
* That’s 12 men every day.
* One man every two hours.
* Suicide claimed four times the number of lives than the National Road Toll in 2014
* Whilst the above statistics appear to primarily cast light on the male gender, mental illness does not discriminate and has no ‘gender’ bias.
My personal commitment to this cause was born from my own experiences and exposure to Mental Illness and its various guises. Over this last four years in particular, too many people close to me have fallen foul of the effects of Mental Illness. Walking out the front door of a private mental health clinic leaving a close family member, who is visibly scared, to undertake their ‘reset’ is a moment that will never leave me. Fielding a call from my brother crying uncontrollably trying to inform me that his best mate had taken his own life has left an indelible mark. Hearing the challenges that my best man faces every day and how his battle takes its toll is galling.
However, witnessing the collective bravery of people close to me struggling with the effects of mental illness on their lives I have been exposed to their honesty and educated by their experiences and this has been as equally enriching and uplifting. They provide me with authentic perspective. They have also shown me that there is great hope. That there is light and laughter and that every day is a fabulous opportunity.
All of my fundraising will go directly to the events charity partner, GriefLine. GriefLine manages Australia’s only dedicated loss and grief national telephone counselling service.
Their volunteer counsellors undergo intensive training and are professionally supported, providing anonymous support and specialist counselling to both individuals and families.
Every donation counts and will assist in making a difference. Please click on the link below and head to my Every Day Hero fundraising page. I would love it if you could share this with your colleagues, friends and family also.
I sincerely appreciate your support – Ray