The mother-of-two will this week embark on the Inspired Adventures marathon ride from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute.
Howard, who has self-funded her travel costs, has already raised more than $4000 for the institute through events including a high tea at Nicholson Bar & Grill in Canning Vale.
She said supporting the not-for-profit organisation for mental illness research, diagnosis and education was a subject close to her heart.
‘I have had my own battles with depression and anxiety and had a lot of friends with the same issues,’ she said.
‘I also work with people with mental illness and I’m passionate about breaking the taboos and opening up conversations.’
Howard said that after giving birth to her second child, she struggled with postnatal depression and weight gain, but a combination of medication and a new commitment to exercise helped her break free.
‘Exercise was one of the greatest medicines,’ she said.
‘It helped me regain that balance ” even something small like forcing myself to go for a walk in the fresh air could help me through the blackest day.’
Howard, who shed 30kg and became a triathlete, said her fundraising events had prompted many of her friends and acquaintances to open up about mental health issues.
‘It shows the issue touches more of us than we realise,’ she said.
‘We all have a connection to mental illness, whether it is us or someone we know, and we are becoming more and more aware of it.’
Having raised the $3500 required to take part in the ride, Howard has now set her sights on raising $5000.
To donate, visit http:// blackdogcycletohappiness. gofundraise.com.au/page/ daynahoward.