A Grateful Dad
Recently a Black Dog Rider contacted Founder and National Coordinator Steve Andrews about the positive impact Black Dog Ride has had on his own family.
This man, a grateful Dad, has allowed us to share his words with the wider BDR family providing personal details are edited out to protect those involved.
We'd like to thank this Black Dog Rider for stepping forward and validating Black Dog Ride's work in starting a national conversation around depression and suicide prevention. This man's journey, and that of his son and family, is a snapshot of what many Australians experience daily and we're sincerely appreciative of his courage in allowing us to share his story widely in order to give hope and encouragement to those navigating the same pathway through mental ill health.
As a DIRECT result of your Black Dog Ride awareness campaigns my son is alive.
I have been on several Black Dog Rides, and as a direct result of my participation i was aware of the phone counselling that is available.....those telephone people are brilliant! They do save lives. People in the community are starting to talk more freely about depression and suicide, and the stigma is slowly subsiding.
Because of this, we were able to persuade our son to seek help before it was too late. He is currently in the local psychiatric unit where they are doing a great job of sorting out some medication for him. At least now he can see a way forward and today he was smiling again. Hoping that he can give that Black Dog a really good kick in the guts when he eventually comes home.
A family member took her life in the seventies when it was a taboo subject...we weren't allowed to speak about it, and it was regarded as a shameful blot on the family tree.
Your Black Dog Ride awareness campaign and the conversations that it promotes in the community is so worthwhile. It really has made the difference within our family.
We got our son to the psych ward...not the cemetery.
I first phoned SANE to work out how I should respond to my son's emerging psychosis that had resulted from his lack of sleep. They put me on the right track to getting him to initially attend the emergency department at the local hospital. Knowing how we should respond to him bought us a bit of time until he was ready to speak to Lifeline. After he spoke with the Lifeline telephone counsellor he was quite settled, and although he was frightened, he was ready to go and get some professional help.
The advice that SANE gave me in the week prior to him agreeing to get help was invaluable. SANE recommended that we phone the emergency dept and let them know that we were on our way. They had the mental health liaison nurse and doctor on standby for our arrival. I would not have had a clue how to get him seen to.
My heightened awareness of these telephone services is due DIRECTLY to you and Black Dog Ride, Steve.
It is important to us that when he comes home from hospital, he tells people in our community himself. That way he has some control over how the discussion unfolds, including how Black Dog Ride, Lifeline and SANE helped. I think it is important that you, and the wider community get to hear about the good work you do.
Cheers and thanks again
A Black Dog Rider
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please act promptly, keep yourself and/or the person in crisis safe, and call the helplines below who provide 24/7 crisis support. If the situation is life threatening, call 000 immediately.
More crisis support and mental health orgs can be found on our Helpful Links page.