Our Charity

First and foremost, our mission is to "raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention."

Fundraising is an important, but secondary goal.

During 2019 we launched a new program for the disbursement of funds, our "Community Grants." The aim of our Community Grants program is to direct money into community based initiatives that truly make a difference right across the country. Here are a few examples of the community initiatives we have funded of late.

Travelling Youth Services

A community not-for-profit organisation, Shaping Futures, was granted $5000 to fund ten outreach community visits using their "Regional Youth Bus" (pictured left). They have previously transformed an ageing bus into a mobile facility that provides a place for youth to visit. They can hang-out in the bus which is equipped with modern technology to enjoy, and while there they can engage with volunteers and staff to access a host of information and support. They can get information on all sorts of things to do with career planning, health and well being.

Shaping Futures say that:

Although the Regional Youth Bus can only be in one place at a time, young people can stay continually connected with the bus through social media. They can make contact with staff, find a range of information, and view funny and inspiring stories and memes.

This Social Media platform is another innovative part of the project. Through the Social Media Internship Program young people from across the region will be developing the content for the page while learning valuable skills in this emerging career path from industry professionals, Social Media Monitors, based in Brisbane.

Volunteering will be another focus. Organisations and community members can promote volunteering to young people or be volunteers themselves, providing more opportunities to connect young people with their local communities.

Mental Health First Aid Trainers

Great Southern region of Western Australia

Two people in the Great Southern region of Western Australia completed training and qualified as Mental Health First Aid instructors, paid for by Black Dog Ride. The training to become a Mental Health First Aid instructor takes five days full time, at a cost of $3905 each.

Once qualified, a Mental Health First Aid trainer can deliver the two-day Mental Health First Aid workshop. This workshop teaches participants how to assist people who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

Newly qualified Mental Health First Aid trainers, Erica and Keith (shown to the right), conducted their first course with great feedback. Several Black Dog Riders came to join us on this course. One of our participants said that this course was "Life Changing".

Life Lessons in Mental Health

A grant of $5000 was given to community based not-for-profit organisation, Talk Out Loud, to support them in the great work they do with young people in the Eastern suburbs of Adelaide. In their words:

Talk Out Loud is a non-profit organisation that provides harm prevention initiatives, activities and programs targeted primarily at young people under 30 and their families. At Talk Out Loud our mission is to equip young people with the tools necessary to maintain a healthy mental, physical and emotional lifestyle using a pro-active positive psychology approach.

This funding will go to support group work with young adults which is designed to help them openly discuss mental health and learn positive practices and strategies to help them to look after their mental health. Along the way participants also learn about suicide and suicide prevention, helping to break down the barriers to talking and seeking help. This also helps break down the negative stigma around mental health as well as barriers to seeking help. In terms of self-development the program helps the young people to develop positive self-esteem, healthy resilience, and positive social relationships.

It's fantastic to see this sort of great work being done to directly help young people in the community, and it's fantastic to be able to support these types of initiatives.

Supporting our Emergency Service Workers and their Families

Behind The Seen is a not-for-profit organisation in New South Wales which works to support front-line emergency service personnel. They provide training sessions which focus on developing the individuals' ability to recognise the signs of mental health problems, and break down barriers to seeking appropriate help. In addition, they also provide mental health information packs for first responders in the front line.

Black Dog Ride has recently provided Behind The Seen with $10,000 in funding to help carry out this vitally important work to support emergency services personnel, and their families.

Behind The Seen state that:

the feedback has overwhelmingly stated that the session increased conversations around mental health with colleagues; reduced stigma: clarified organisational support systems; clarified community supports; explained stress and resilience in simple and entertaining ways, motivated positive help seeking behaviours and made families feel included, valued and capable as supports for their emergency services spouses, parents or siblings.

Their training programs cover topics such as:

How do you recognise symptoms of stress in a mate?

He says he's okay, but I can tell he isn't - what should I do?

How do you prepare new recruits for incidents?

How do we overcome the old "toughen up" culture?

How do I deal with my own stresses?

How can we set up our own local support networks?

Mental Health First Aid Trainer

East of Adelaide

We have committed to pay fund Mental Health First Aid instructor training for our former Black Dog Ride, South Australian Coordinator, Merv Storton (pictured left). The training to become a Mental Health First Aid instructor takes five days full time, at a cost of $3,905 each.

Once qualified, Merv will be able to deliver the two-day Mental Health First Aid workshop. This workshop teaches participants how to assist people who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received, or the crisis resolves.

Merv has devoted a huge amount of time and effort supporting the community as a Black Dog Ride Coordinator in the past, and we look forward to seeing him pursue this new direction as a Mental Health First Aid instructor.

Services Information

Goldfields Region of Western Australia

Another one of our community funding grant recipients is Mates 4 Mates Goldfields. A volunteer organisation operating on the Esperence WA region, Mates 4 Mates Goldfields works to get information about depression and suicide prevention out into the community across the region to help break down negative stigma, give people more information about mental health, and steer people in the right direction to get help. They also run the Living Works Safe TALK workshops to equip people with more knowledge about face to face suicide prevention.

The funding we provided has gone to produce and distribute information (as shown) on various services available in the local area. This one shown is just one of four different versions tailored to different geographical areas including Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Leonora and Norseman. These will be in the form of fridge magnets, making them a great practical resource for people.

We look forward to hearing more from Mates 4 Mates. It sounds like they're doing some really good practical work aimed at suicide prevention in the community.

Marcus Mission - suicide prevention initiative

Marcus Mission is a community, volunteer organisation, that aims to reduce the risk of suicide for young men aged 18-44 years through three main initiatives: skill building for young men, suicide prevention training, and the development of a volunteer mentor network. The program is initially targeting the Gold Coast and Toowoomba regions, with a view to expanding in the future.

“Suicide is a very complex issue, and it requires a whole-of-community approach,” says Glen Wallwork, Suicide Prevention Manager with Wesley Mission Queensland. “With this in mind, we work not only with those at risk of suicide, but everyone around them: their families, friends, networks, and local community groups to build skills, knowledge, resources, and the capacity to tackle this issue.

“Recent studies have highlighted the need for young men to build resilience, negotiate conflict and manage relationship challenges. Supporting young men to develop these skills will assist them to better manage stressful life events that can increase risk of suicide. Using this and other, current evidence-based research, we have designed a range of prevention activities and initiatives to help young men work through what they’re experiencing.”

Black Dog Ride has directed funds to support the volunteer mentoring program. Trained volunteer mentors connect with men experiencing situational distress, such as issues with relationships, work or money. They will meet face-to-face for up to two hours a week for twelve months to build connections, enhance their strengths and develop practical strategies to move forward.

Our focus

There have been many, many beneficiaries of funds raised through Black Dog Ride since it's inception in 2010. 

Black Dog Ride has supported large not-for-profits such as LifeLine, Mental Health First Aid Australia and the Black Dog Institute, with large donations. And, there have been many smaller, community organisations which have received funds over the years. These include community suicide prevention networks, local Lifeline centres, and Headspece centres.

Going forward, our aim is to direct funding into community based mental health and suicide prevention initiatives across Australia. Research suggests that mental health and suicide prevention activities undertaken at a grass roots, community level have been effective in the prevention of suicide and increasing help seeking behavour. There are many community based initiatives which are tailored to the local environment and circumstances, and many of these initiatives are also quite innovative. It is these initiatives that we seek to find and support. We don't have huge dollars to give out, but the money we raise can go a long way to help these grass roots community initiative make a real difference in peoples' lives.

Our Mission

Black Dog Ride's primary mission as a health promotion charity is to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention. Black Dog Ride's activities achieve this mission with hundreds of activities each year engaging thousands of Australians, each starting community conversations around depression and suicide, which encourages help seeking behaviour and ultimately prevents suicide. The social value of Black Dog Ride's activities is difficult to measure.

Black Dog Ride continues to strive to meet it's objectives of raising awareness about depression and suicide prevention whilst keeping administrative and operating costs to a minimum. We value our volunteers, riders and supporters as dedicated community advocates, and trust you will join with us on the road ahead to prevent suicide and improve the mental wellbeing of all Australians.

ACNC Registration

Black Dog Ride's ACNC Charity Tick Black Dog Ride is proud to display the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission's (ACNC) "Charity Tick" which lets you know that Black Dog Ride is registered and compliant with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission.

The ACNC is the independent national regulator of charities. The ACNC has been set up to achieve the following objects:

  • maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the sector through increased accountability and transparency
  • support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector
  • promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector.