PSYCHS ON BIKES RIDING AROUND AUSTRALIA FOR MENTAL HEALTH | News
Mental health professionals ditch the couch for an epic 16,000km journey around Australia
The outback may be a strange place to see a cavalcade of leather-clad, motorcycle-riding mental health professionals, but there’s nothing ordinary about Psychs on Bikes. It’s a group of mental health professionals who hit the road on motorbike rides aimed at improving awareness about mental health in rural and remote communities across Australia.
In May, psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health nurses ditch the couch, for their motorcycles. Leaving from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane they will ride over 16,000 kms around Australia over six weeks.
The trip will visit cattle stations in central Queensland and the Northern Territory where the psychs will engage with hundreds of staff in conversations about their emotional wellbeing.
Founder and Sydney psychiatrist Dr Joseph Dunn highlights “Unfortunately depression and suicide rates are much higher in rural areas than urban ones. Our motorcycles are great conversation starters because people can be quite apprehensive about talking to a psychologist or psychiatrist”.
As well as speaking about mental health, the group offers free health checks to target what he calls the four silent killers: hypertension, diabetes, depression, and alcohol.
Bernadette Burke, from the Consolidated Pastoral Company, emphasises the real need for the mental health support in rural and remote regions “The isolation of a cattle station can compound mental health issues. Having Psychs on Bikes visit starts a conversation that our staff may not otherwise have”.
Psychs on Bikes would like to acknowledge and thank its foundation sponsor Ramsay Health Care.
About Psychs on Bikes
Psychs on Bikes (PoB) is a group of mental health professionals who raise awareness of mental health issues in rural and remote communities and who also have a passion for motorcycles. We ride our motorcycles into the communities to provide physical and mental health checks and education. Since 2012, PoB has provided more than one thousand one-on-one health checks in rural and remote Australia. The most significant outcome has been raising an individual’s awareness of the implications of their mental suffering both for themselves and their families, along with destigmatising the idea of seeking help and working to identify ways they might begin the process of helping themselves.