Psychs on ride motorbikes across the country to chat mental health in Geraldton

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Lisa FavazzoMidwest Times
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The Psychs on Bikes crew at Centacare's Men's Hub in Geraldton with staff and community members.
Camera IconThe Psychs on Bikes crew at Centacare's Men's Hub in Geraldton with staff and community members. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

A pack of east-coast psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals braved the weekend’s downpour and headed down from Carnarvon on their motorcycles to chat with Geraldton blokes about mental health.

In a speech at Centacare’s Men’s Hub building, Psychs on Bikes president and psychiatrist Dr Joe Dunne said alcohol, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression were silent killers.

“Unfortunately, they particularly impact men ... don’t try and just deal with this by yourself,” he said.

Psychs on Bikes have been riding together for more than a decade. The group does regular trips around regional Australia, offering free mental health checks and support, often finding men suffering in silence.

At more than 16,000km, this ride is their most ambitious yet and will involve a full loop of the continent.

Before arriving in Geraldton, the riders spent time in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory, stopping in rural and remote areas to offer assistance to people struggling with their mental health.

“When we were in the cattle stations ... what I encountered was young female staff were insightful and spoke freely about their emotional state ... the blokes couldn’t,” Dr Dunne said. Dr Dunne said men had a hard time putting words to the emotional distress they experienced, leading to high rates of suicide and dependency on intimate partners.

“We men experience out own struggles with mental health and we do it in out own way,” he said.Men’s Shed Geraldton chair Ross Barden said the talk was fascinating.

Attendee Aaron Davis said he felt very passionate about the topic, and he took down a lot from the talk but However, he said the last few years had been tough for him, and he would like to see more long-term help for people suffering.

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