Black Dog Ride and MHFA Partnership Empowers Young Australians in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Since 2014, Black Dog Ride has funded Mental Health First Aid Australia to train Australian high school students in teen MHFA with the objective of empowering teenagers with the tools to identify a mental health crisis and respond appropriately, reducing the risk of youth suicide.

The youth suicide statistics in Australia are devastating: in the 15-24 year old age grouping, up to 30% of all deaths are attributed to suicide. Black Dog RIde is proud to be part of a grassroots solution addressing this national tragedy.

The first cheque was handed over by Black Dog Ride in November 2014, with the great team and instructors at MHFA rolling out the program from 2015.

In that time:

• 5 Youth MHFA Instructors were funded to up-skill to deliver the 3.5 hour teen MHFA course

• The 5 instructors are from: Bathurst, Dubbo and Maitland in NSW, Mt Isa in Qld and Whyalla in SA

• 3 more Youth MHFA instructors will be funded to upskill to deliver teen MHFA to students

• 445 senior students in disadvantaged high schools have received the teen MHFA course

• in 2016, so far, at least 269 students in Broken Hill and Willyama high schools will receive the training

The high schools chosen by MHFA for teen MHFA training are schools in regions that show high rates of self harm and suicide amongst teens and schools that would be unable to fund the courses independantly. This maxmises the impact of the teen MHFA course and ensures the funding and project benefits those in the highest need.

Training young people in teen MHFA ensures youth can identify a mental health crisis amongst their peer group and know how to respond to it appropriately, keeping both themselves and their friends safe from harm and suicide and encouraging further professional support.

Black Dog Ride's awareness raising builds caring communities which encourage people living with mental illness to reach out for support, and Black Dog Ride's fundraising efforts directly aid both mental health crisis support and suicide prevention. Coupled together, this grassroots suicide prevention project is having a huge positive impact in the Australian mental health sector.

Well done and thank you to all who have participated in a Black Dog Ride and all who donated both their time and funds to make this remarkable suicide prevention project possible.

Black Dog Ride 2014 Cheque Presentation to MHFA

2014 Black Dog Ride Cheque Presentation to MHFA

Black Dog Ride 2015 Cheque Presentation to MHFA

2015 Black Dog Ride Cheque Presentation to MHFA

"From all of us at Mental Health First Aid Australia, including our small team in Melbourne, and MHFA Instructors from across Australia, we would like to thank Black Dog Ride for their generous philanthropic support!"

Betty Kitchener OAM
Founder, CEO
MHFA Australia