The Black Dog Ride – USA Style
On February 19, 2014 I wrote about The Black Dog ride.
Since 2009, Black Dog Ride has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention programs across Australia.
This year, The Black Dog Ride will hit the highways of the United States to share our home-grown mental health project with the USA.
Allow me to plagiarise The Black Dog Ride’s most recent newsletter.
Black Dog Ride’s mission in America is to engage US military veterans and first responders (Firefighters, Police, Paramedics) in conversations around suicide prevention. Due to the nature of their work, US Military Veterans and First Responders are at high risk for developing depression, anxiety and PTSD, and they subsequently have a tragically high rate of suicide.
Black Dog Ride is partnering with Mental Health First Aid USA to raise awareness and funds for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training scholarships for military veterans and first responders.
When I posted about the Black Dog last year, there quite a few of you who expressed an interest in replicating the ride in The US and Canada. The best I could do at the time was to put you in touch with Steve Andrews, the founder of the Black Dog project.
He must have had a lot of inquiries about the project for him to expand it into North America.
Personally I’m really happy that the program has expanded, it’s a worthy cause and one that affects many people at one time or another. Either from first hand experience, or hearing about a mate who is having a tough time of it.
Maybe other countries will join the cause and follow suit some day. One can hope.
By the time you read this, the riders would have been on the road for about 4 days.
65 Australian riders left New York City on September 13 bound for Los Angeles. The trip will take 21 days and cover around 7,000km (4,350 miles) stopping at 18 destinations across the United States excluding New York City.
The ride itinerary is posted on their website, but here’s the condensed version:
- Day 1 – Sun Sep 13th – NYC NY – York PA.
- Day 2 – Mon Sep 14th – York PA – Front Royal VA.
- Day 3 – Tue Sep 15 – Front Royal VA – Roanoke VA.
- Day 4 – Wed Sep 16 – Roanoke VA – Blowing Rock NC.
- Day 5 – Thu Sep 17 – Roanoke VA – Gatlinburg TN.
- Day 6 – Fri Sep 18 – Gatlinburg TN – Chattanooga TN.
- Day 7 – Sat Sep 19 – Chattanooga TN – Memphis TN.
- Day 8 – Sun Sep 20 – Memphis TN – Rider’s Rest Day.
- Day 9 – Mon Sep 21 – Memphis TN – Hot Springs AR.
- Day 10 – Tue Sep 22 – Hot Springs AR – Oklahoma City OK.
- Day 11 – Wed Sep 23 – Oklahoma City OK – Amarillo TX.
- Day 12 – Thu Sep 24 – Amarillo TX – Santa Fe NM.
- Day 13 – Fri Sep 25 – Santa Fe NM – Durango CO.
- Day 14 – Sat Sep 26 – Durango CO • Rider Rest Day.
- Day 15 – Sun Sep 27 – Durango CO – Kayenta AZ.
- Day 16 – Mon Sep 28 – Kayenta AZ – Grand Canyon NP.
- Day 17 – Tue Sep 29 – Grand Canyon NP – Kingman AZ.
- Day 18 – Wed Sep 30 – Kingmaz AZ – Las Vegas NV.
- Day 19 – Thu Oct 1 – Las Vegas NV – Rider Rest Day.
- Day 20 – Fri Oct 2 – Las Vegas NV – Big Bear Lake CA.
- Day 21 – Sat Oct 3 – Big Bear Lake CA – Los Angeles CA.
The full US itinerary is here.
If you’d like to get involved in The Black Dog Ride, more information is available at this website where you’ll find media kits, press releases, flyers and other useful information.
If you’re nearby one of the stop points of the ride, why not drop by when they pass through and have a chat.
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