Hi. I'm Rowan, and I ride bikes. Quite a lot. In July I will be taking on my most challenging ride yet, racing in the the PEdAL Ed Transcontinental Race No. 5. It is a long way, and it's going to be really hard, and I think that if I'm going to work that hard at something I should probably try to make the world a better place while I am doing it. On that basis, I’m proud to say that as I ride I will be raising funds for beyondblue.
beyondblue are a charity working to help people with their mental health, focused on help, recovery and resilience. If you’ve never looked at statistics on mental health, I can tell you now that they are scary. If you’re thinking that your mental health is fine and you will never have problems with it, then I am very glad of that. If you’re thinking the same about all of your friends and family, then I will tell you that you are almost certainly wrong. The statistics are that 45% of people in Australia will experience a mental health condition at some time in their lifetime. It may not be too serious and it may not last too long, but that means that at one time or another nearly half of the people you know will have some kind of mental health problem.
If you don’t believe that, if you’re thinking that number is much too high and wondering why, if it is so high, you haven’t heard about it, the answer is really simple. People don’t talk about it. In fact, a lot of people actively hide it. And it is one of those things that not talking about makes much worse. So I’m funding for beyondblue to raise funds to help them continue their great work on help, recovery and resilience, and also to bring it to the front of people’s minds. On that basis, I encourage everyone to go and check out the beyondblue website over here and learn more about mental health, so that when someone around you has a problem, and it could be your friend, your child, your sibling, your parent, your work colleague or even yourself, you will be better equipped to spot the issue and then respond in the best way. Almost eight Australians take their lives every day, and that is just way too many.
I’ve set myself the target of raising one dollar for every kilometre that I race. Now that isn’t very much, and as long as I don’t get lost too often (and you can follow my blog to see just how often I do get lost, at tourletour.com) it will probably end up being less than $4,000. It will help though, because every single dollar will help. So if you have a spare dollar or two, please donate. Of course it may be that you have no spare cash right now, or that you just don’t feel like giving it away, or even that you are giving what you can spare to a different charity that means more to you, and all of them are fine too. They are fine because it isn’t just about the money, it’s also about the awareness and the openness. So if you aren’t donating, then just go along to the beyondblue website and have a read, and you can still know that you have done your part. Thank you!