Katherine was the meeting point for hundreds of Black Dog Riders this morning.
On their last leg of an epic week long journey, most had traveled hundreds of kilometres from all parts of the country to unite at the Katherine Town Council grounds.
The annual ride raises awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
After a quick briefing, the convoy of mental health advocates on bikes hit the road, en route to Darwin.
NT Coordinator Jon Brenham said this year’s 380 riders had put on a good show and gathered much support over the journey.
“We had 31 riders from the Top End, which is a significant turn out seeing as though we have the highest rate of suicide.
“The ride so far had started a lot of conversation, which is what it is all about,” he said.
Black Dog Ride began in 2009 as a ride to raise awareness of depression, and has evolved into a national health promotion charity involving thousands of Australians with lived experience of mental illness who inspire the nation with their passion for preventing suicide.
Black Dog Ride’s community health projects are among the largest of their kind in Australia that are organised, conducted and involve participants with lived experience.
So far Black Dog Ride has raised more than $2.5 million for mental health and suicide prevention programs nationwide, including Lifeline Australia’s Crisis Support Chat service, Men’s Sheds, training 1000 youth in teen Mental Health First Aid, Samaritans Crisis Support Service, and local Headspace Centres.