WEMBLEY DOWNS resident Simon Outhwaite has experienced the devastating impact of suicide and will ride a gruelling 700km to Albany to raise funds and awareness.
Mr Outhwaite’s mother took her life when she was only 36, as did two other members of his family.
“It is a terrible, terrible thing … although most of them have been adults, it is just awful to hear of young kids thinking of suicide,” he said.
Mr Outhwaite will cycle from Perth to Albany in the Ride for Youth to prevent youth suicide and raise funds for Youth Focus, an organisation dedicated to preventing youth suicide and depression.
“The main focus is youth between 12 and 25. We stop at five or six schools between Albany and Perth and we speak to the kids,” she said.
“I think it is important to be aware of mental health from a young age, whether it be bullying issues or family issues or relationship problems.
“The camaraderie amongst the riders and the group is fantastic; everyone out there would have a story to tell in regard to how suicide has affected them
“It is really brave of them to speak to the students about their stories and background.”
More than 180 cyclists will take part in this year’s ride – the 15th in the series.
Youth Focus chief executive Fiona Kalaf said the statistics around suicide were alarming, with one Western Australian taking their own life every day.
“This is why events like the Ride for Youth are so important,” she said.
To donate or for more information visit rideforyouth.com.au.
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline WA on 13 11 14.