Ok, things are starting to gain momentum. As some of you may remember, in the past I have linked some of my more challenging rides to fund raising for charity. This was actually inspired by Lance Armstrong. I hold a grudge against the guy for the damage that he did to my sport, but I admire and respect the work he did to bring help and hope to a whole lot of people around the world. It inspired me to try and use my riding as a way to make the world a better place, and so for the PEdAL Ed Transcontinental Race I’m proud to say that I will be raising funds for beyondblue. If you want to help, you can donate here!
beyondblue are a charity working to help people with their mental health, focused on help, recovery and resilience. If you’ve never looked at statistics on mental health, I can tell you now that they are scary. If you’re thinking that your mental health is fine and you will never have problems with it, then I am very glad of that. If you’re thinking the same about all of your friends and family, then I’m sorry to say that you are almost certainly wrong. The statistics are that 45% of people in Australia will experience a mental health condition at some time in their lifetime, and the number is similar for most of the western world. It may not be too serious and it may not last too long, but that means that at one time or another nearly half of the people you know will have some kind of mental health problem.
If you don’t believe that, if you’re thinking that number is much too high and wondering why, if it is so high, you haven’t heard about it, the answer is really simple. People don’t talk about it. In fact, a lot of people actively hide it. And it is one of those things that not talking about makes much worse. So I’m funding for beyondblue to raise funds to help them continue their great work on help, recovery and resilience, and also to bring it to the front of people’s minds. On that basis, I encourage everyone to go and check out the beyondblue website over here and learn more about mental health, so that when someone around you has a problem, and it could be your work colleague, your friend, your parent, your sibling, your child, or even yourself, you will be better equipped to spot the issue and then respond in the best way. Almost eight Australians take their lives every day, and that is just way too many.
I’ve set myself the target of raising one dollar for every kilometre that I race. Now that isn’t very much, and as long as I don’t get lost too often it will probably end up being less than $4,000. Of course, more is better! $4,000 is enough that it will help though, because every single dollar will help. It may be that you have no spare cash right now, or that you just don’t feel like giving it away, or even that you are giving what you can spare to a different charity that means more to you, and all of them are fine too. They are fine because it isn’t just about the money, it’s also about the awareness and the openness. So if you aren’t donating, then just go along to the beyondblue website and have a read, and maybe a share, and you can still know that you have done your part. Thank you!