THE issue of depression and suicide is one issue very close to Ross Tinkler’s heart.
That’s why the Wagga resident and motorcyclist will be riding for seven days across Australia to raise awareness about it.
It will be the second year he’s undertaken The Black Dog Ride and this time he is setting himself the personal target of raising $1500 for Mental Health First Aid Australia and Lifeline Australia.
“I myself go through periods of depression,” Mr Tinkler said when asked about his personal experiences with the disease.
“I was one of those people who had a good job, lovely wife and great kids, so I didn’t know why I was depressed. I went to see my doctor and it made a difference. It was really a matter of getting to talk about it.
“I’ve also recently joined the men’s shed here and that’s one of the things that should be looked into and how it helps men.”
Mr Tinkler has also seen the tragedy and pain that can be caused when mental health issues are not addressed.
“The father of my son’s best friend committed suicide and you could almost understand, but he was a very gregarious man,” he said.
“He was going through a marriage break up.”
With a background working in education in small towns, Mr Tinkler said he had also noticed the extent and impact mental illness had in such areas.
“Suicide rates seem to be quite high in many communities,” he said.
Mr Tinkler said he thought the stigma surrounding depression and suicide was also being broken down because it was being talked about more.
He will begin his ride from Melbourne on August 17 and travel thousands of kilometres to arrive at Alice Springs on August 23.
If you would like to donate to the cause, visit Mr Tinkler’s fund-raising page at https://redcentre2013.everydayhero.com/au/ross-tinkler
IF YOU NEED HELP
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
MensLine Australia – 1300 78 99 78