About Black Dog Ride
This page is a summary of Black Dog Ride's journey to date. To read how Black Dog Ride began, click here. To read Steve's Story in his own words (written in 2009), click here
Seven years ago, Steve Andrews found himself at the funeral of his best mate Jack Michael's wife. Anna was a beautiful woman, a wife and mother whose life was cut short by a silent struggle with depression. Tragically, Steve's own mother had also taken her own life years earlier. Every year in Australia, 1,000,000 adults and 100,000 young people live with depression, 50% won't seek treatment and nearly 3,000 will take their own lives every single year.
Standing at Anna's wake, Steve felt the need to raise community awareness of depression, to create a national conversation so that people living with mental ill health feel able to talk about it and seek support.
In 2009, Steve embarked upon a solo month long motorbike journey around Australia, raising $34,000 for the Suicide Call Back Service and engaging thousands of Australians with his message of awareness.
Steve took with him a soft toy black dog representing the black dog of depression which Winston Churchill famously diarised. Steve called this dog Winston, and his ride, Black Dog Ride.
Since the inaugural Black Dog Ride in 2009, Steve has built Black Dog Ride into a national suicide prevention charity which has coordinated 141 Black Dog Rides to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention, in addition to organising hundreds of community events bringing people together to foster a culture of mental health awareness.
Only five short years after the inaugural Black Dog Ride, thousands of Australians have joined Steve on the road to raise awareness, and have raised over $2,200,000 for mental health services nationwide.
Black Dog Riders have engaged and built the capacity of thousands of Australians from all walks of life whilst raising both awareness of depression and funds for suicide prevention services. From country women making hundreds of scones for Black Dog Riders on their way through town, to stockmen raising awareness of depression by raising cattle for Black Dog Ride, to being the impetus for people to get training as community educators in mental health, Black Dog Ride has not only inspired the community on a national scale but has motivated community members to inspire others in turn.
In creating Black Dog Ride, Steve Andrews has turned a light on amidst the despair of depression and thousands of Australians are embracing this beacon of hope.
Join Black Dog Ride in building a national conversation about depression and suicide prevention. Together, Black Dog Riders make a vital and positive impact in our communities.