The final leg of the Dubbo to Darwin Black Dog Ride is almost complete.
The NSW Riders, who departed Dubbo last Friday, are currently in Katherine and have met up with other motorcyclists from Tasmania and Victoria.
They will depart Katherine for Darwin, where they should arrive later that day.
Riders have been travelling through towns to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
When the Daily Liberal spoke to Black Dog Rider Peter Macpherson, from Belmont, Newcastle, on the morning of Friday, August 17, they were all meeting up for a quick pit stop.
Mr Macpherson knows just how important it is to speak up if you’re struggling.
A friend of Mr Macpherson’s took his own life after being hassled at work about his sexuality.
“I think why didn’t he talk to me?,” Mr Macpherson said.
The keen motorcyclist said there are so many people who don’t talk.
He hopes that the Darwin trip makes people realise they are not just doing it to fundraise, but to start conversations about mental health.
“The reason we do it is to bring awareness, and hopefully that leads to the prevention of suicide,” he said.
“We need to look out for one another.”
Mr Macpherson has spoken not only with locals at the towns he’s visited, but other motorcyclists, who have told their own stories of mental health.
“I believe if we all shared our stories there would be hundreds of pages worth of stories…,” he said.
Mr Macpherson took with him his own Black Dog Ride cards that he has handed out to people during the 4000 kilometre journey.
The cards include a range of services on them, including Lifeline.
“That’s the message I push… you’ve just got to give them a ring… it’s a way to get people to take the first step,” he said.
There are approximately 80 riders from NSW and about 70 from Tasmania.
Mr Macpherson said they have paid for their own fuel, food and accommodation.
He said Black Dog Riders don’t do these trips because they can, but because they have a reason.
Mr Macpherson was proud of all the riders who volunteered their time.
If you or someone you know is experience difficulty please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.