'Psychs on bikes' get set to roar into the outback
Apr 20, 2021
Rural, regional and outback Australia will soon hear the roar of dozens of motorbikes heading into town as Psychs on Bikes, supported by Ramsay Health Care, gets set for its biggest ever charity ride across the country.
Psychs on Bikes is a group of psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health nurses who hit the open road each year to raise awareness of mental health issues in rural and remote communities.
In their most ambitious ride yet, this year Psychs on Bikes will cover 16,000 kilometres over six weeks, visiting remote properties and cattle stations from western Queensland to the Northern Territory, Western Australia to South Australia and finishing up through Victoria and New South Wales.
Psychs on Bikes founder and Medical Superintendent at Northside Group Cremorne Clinic, Dr Joe Dunn, said they offer free health checks in the hope of starting conversations about mental health and preventing the four silent killers: hypertension, diabetes, depression and alcoholism.
“Our motorcycles are great conversation starters because people can be quite apprehensive about talking to a psychologist or psychiatrist. We can sit them down in a non-threatening environment and very often once we get them chatting, we can’t shut them up,” Dr Dunn said with a laugh.
“One huge advantage of the bush is a strong sense of community and the huge disadvantage is that there’s no privacy. It’s boom or bust out there and it’s a hard life but many have that resignation and stoicism where they don’t make a fuss of it.”
“Unfortunately depression and suicide rates are much higher in rural areas than urban ones so we want to raise awareness and get them thinking about ‘what is anxiety’ or ‘how much alcohol is too much,” he said.
Ramsay Health Care is committed to making a meaningful and positive difference to the lives of others and is proud of its connection with Psychs on Bikes, having been its foundation sponsor since 2011.
Through its Ramsay Cares sustainability strategy, the company recognises the important role it plays in creating stronger communities and healthier people. Psychs on Bikes is a prime example of Ramsay Health Care’s commitment to supporting local projects and being part of initiatives that give back to our communities.
“The Psychs on Bikes team absolutely love going on this adventure, we love the sense of giving back to our community and I’m so grateful to Ramsay Health Care for making it possible,” Dr Dunn said.
Psychs on Bikes hit the highway on 1 May 2021.