New Zealand: Riders raising awareness of suicide

“Break the silence.”

Garry McLennan, an ambassador for the Tribal Nations Motorcycle Club, said the club’s weekend mass motorcycle ride from Dunedin to Milton and a Mosgiel family community event had aimed to raise awareness of teen suicide issues.

Mr McLennan (60), of Dunedin, urged people to speak up and to break the silence and taboos surrounding suicide.

People needed to know they were not alone and that help was readily available, from friends and family, as well as from GPs and other doctors.

Life was imperfect, people and life experiences did not need to be perfect.

People sometimes felt unwell and needed to seek help and find support.

Mr McLennan, who hails originally from Belfast in Northern Ireland, said that Ireland and New Zealand both had high youth suicide rates, and the issues needed to be discussed openly.

Events such as the motorcycle run raised awareness— “It gets people talking about suicide”.

“Go and get help, get support, it’s there,” he said.

Club road captain John Philp said that more than $3000 had been raised for charitable purposes during the ride events on Saturday, up on about $2000 last year.

About 130 motorcycles had taken part in the Riders Against Teen Suicide (Rats) ride, also up on last year, and organisers were grateful for sponsorship support, including from Olympic Gym Mosgiel.

An expanded fun family event in Mosgiel had proved successful, after being introduced on a smaller scale last year, he said.

Funds raised would help support suicide awareness training and other suicide prevention and awareness measures in Otago.

Make sure you have subscribed to our Facebook page or Twitter to stay tuned!

Source: Otago Daily Times