World Suicide Prevention Day Bike4Life:  One Day – One Goal

World Suicide Prevention Day Bike4Life:  One Day – One Goal
World Suicide Prevention Day. Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography Copyright 2021

Cyclists highlight the importance of reaching out for help in suicide prevention

On Friday 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day, Cycle Against Suicide are inviting local communities to join its “Bike4Life: One Day – One Goal” to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. Held annually, Bike4Life is part of the fundraising effort of Cycle Against Suicide, an organisation dedicated to greater public awareness and community-based assistance for individuals at risk.

Cycle Against Suicide aim to raise awareness that help and recovery from mental struggles is possible and suicide is preventable.

“If you or someone you know needs help, reach out. Speaking up to a trusted person about depression, suicide or grief is the first step to saving a life,”, Caroline Lafferty, Cycle Against Suicide CEO stated.  “The risk of suicide is heightened when people are not able to talk about their mental health challenges to others. “Very often men and women at risk feel they have no one to talk to about suicidal thoughts and the conditions that cause them,” she said.

As a result, communities battle with high levels of suicide. Research shows that around the world, someone dies of suicide every 40 seconds. In Ireland, one person each day is a victim with tens of thousands of others at risk.

To combat the stigma, shame and fear around mental health that keeps people from reaching out and speaking up, Cycle Against Suicide trains local people to serve as ‘Buddies’ who reach out with empathy and a listening ear in support of individuals struggling with mental health issues.

“This is one of the best ways to prevent suicide. Training local community members to assist is a very effective way to save lives and lessen the huge toll suicide places on families and society,” Lafferty said.

The Bike4Life: One Day-One Goal event, which coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day, is an important part of that effort. Funds raised allow Cycle Against Suicide to build awareness of mental health, reduce stigma related to mental illness and raises money to support the work of Cycle Against Suicide in communities. The event is also an opportunity for communities across Ireland to talk and connect with each other and spread awareness of suicide and how it can be prevented.