CHARITY ROLLS OUT CYCLE CHALLENGE TO SUPPORT MEN’S MENTAL HEALTH

Aug 22, 2022 | Nationwide News

Cycle Against Suicide, the national suicide prevention charity that fights stigmas around masculinity and mental health, will roll out a series of events to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10 September.

Through a series of coast-to-coast cycles organised for World Suicide Prevention Day, the charity is reframing men’s views on masculinity and mental health and is now calling for supporters and their sons, fathers, husbands, friends and colleagues to get involved, with the message: “It’s ok not to feel ok, and absolutely ok to ask for help.”

Statistics reveal that three quarters of Ireland’s suicide victims are male – 300 men died by suicide in 2019. According to the national charity, better mental health literacy can prevent deaths, helping Irish men express their feelings and seek support. The stigma of mental health starts early and studies have shown that many young Irish men do not seek help due to worries about social exclusion, self-image or perceived masculine responsibilities.

Middle-aged men are at currently at highest risk of suicide in Ireland, while this country has the fourth highest suicide rate in Europe for males aged 15-24 years old. A rising population of older men living alone are also at risk.

The two-day Coast-to-Coast, Dublin to Galway is a challenging 220km cycle, with groups of all cyclists according to ability, catering to speeds of 18 to 25 km/h. An overnight camp at Portlick Scout Campsite is part of the fun, with music as well as mental health talks on awareness and tackling stigma. Supporters can also pre-register for virtual, fully interactive, coast-to-coast events taking place on 10-11 September to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

Cork Spin-off is a family-friendly event which starts and finishes at Cork’s Marina Market on 3 September. Following a 42km cycle, the charity will host a mental health awareness event at the market, with talks and music, highlighting local support available, and will also offer free on-site counselling.

From 30 September to 7 October, Cycle the N2 in 2022 – Portugal, end to end participants will bike across the country’s sun-soaked landscapes and rolling vineyards, in fresh temperatures that are perfect for cycling! This 750km tough challenge is suitable for advanced cyclists with a minimum speed of 23km/h and is inclusive and supportive with a focus on mental wellbeing.

Cycle Against Suicide wants to set wheels in motion for positive mental health, particularly in middle-aged and older men — the demographics at most risk of suicide. Its message is that “it’s really ok to ask for help”. While suicide is a complex issue, it can be prevented, the charity says, and noted that through education in schools, communities and workplaces people find support, look after each other, and build resilience to mental health struggles.

If your community has been affected by suicide and you want ‘Cycle Against Suicide’ to help, email info@cycleagainstsuicide.com. If you or someone you know is struggling, contact a Cycle Against Suicide Buddy on www.cycleagainstsuicide.com/community-buddy/

Further details at: www.cycleagainstsuicide.com

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