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Sue Johnston (Guy Stoddart)

$5,408 of AUD $5,000 target.

Raised by 0 people in days for Black Dog Institute

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Story

Hi everyone,

This has been a long time coming. For some time now I have personally wanted to push myself physically while trying to bring awareness and hopefully some funds for a charity that is close to home. With a conversation between my lovely lady and myself one day, the seed was planted. In September this year I will be leaving from Ballina, NSW and heading up to Airlie Beach, Qld, turning around then heading back. This will cover 2700km, and the plan is to cover the distance in 12 days. On average it will be 200km of cycling each day. There's two 350km days thrown in, just for fun. Why Ballina to Airlie? Ballina was the very first spot our family became aware of mum's hidden struggle, where she first attempted to take her life. Airlie Beach was were she always wanted her ashes scattered. I'm not sure if I can fulfil her last wish as I write this due to matters out of my control but that is what I'm aiming for. Update on the ashes; we have the all clear and are trying to collect them prior to the ride. Keeping these fingers crossed.

My family has experienced first hand what mental illness can do. My mum kept quiet about her struggle and it sadly ended with her taking her own life. She felt she needed to keep it all in, and felt ashamed when she attempted to take her life and survived a year earlier. She never spoke to anyone, despite us wanting to support her. After her death my family struggled to talk about it and some to this day refuse to discuss it. I would love to help make that discussion easier for people and one of the ways to achieve this is to remove the stigma. That is why I have chosen to raise money for the Black Dog Institute. They aim to help people feel comfortable enough to speak up when they are depressed or anxious. They help promote that mental illness is common, manageable and not a reason for people to feel isolated. They help provide resources for families and friends to support those going through difficult times. They are constantly raising the bar via research and implementing new ways to help people slay their black dog.

Depression is also something I have experienced at various times in my life. When I stumbled upon cycling, running, and endurance sports I found  a way to combat my own Black Dog. That mixed with the amazing love from my family and friends, and opening my dialogue, has put my life in the best spot ever! So it's an honour to have the ability to undertake an adventure such as this with the support and encouragement from those closest to me. I'm constantly blown away by the enthusiasm and raised hands offering to help in anyway. 

Please, if you can, donate to this amazing charity and spread the word amongst your friends. No matter what, please try to learn a little more about mental health (http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/ has great resources). And, if you're in the area and have a bike, I would love your company along the way.

Love,

Guy

 

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Black Dog Institute

Black Dog Institute

One in five Australians are affected by mental illness each year.

Mental illness can be overwhelming, crippling and isolating. 

The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit organisation and world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder and suicide. 
We are the only mental health facility in Australia that combines clinical services, high quality translational research and education programs. We work to empower communities and help the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The Black Dog Institute has 4 important goals:
to diagnose mental illness accurately and early,
treat them using innovative, effective and accessible strategies,
prevent their onset by understanding why and who they affect
to reduce the overall impact of mental illness and save lives.

Black Dog Institute’s vision is for a mentally healthier world. 
A world where the onset of depression and suicide can be prevented and treated. With your help we can make this vision a reality. 
http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

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Sue Johnston (Guy Stoddart)

for Black Dog Institute

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AUD $5,408 of AUD$5,000 target

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