Ride inmemory of Mick
Work colleagues and family of a Telfer mine worker who took his own life have embarked on a marathon bicycle ride to raise awareness for mental health.
The Mick Van Duren Ride bike relay covered 2246km from the Newcrest headquarters in Perth to the Pilbara’s Telfer mine where Mr Van Duren worked and involved a team of six riders each cycling 50km a day.
Mr Van Duren’s friend Ben O’Callaghan said the planning for the ride was long and began the day after Mr Van Duren’s funeral last October.
“We didn’t know what at that stage but we wanted to do something, make it big and make a statement, not only for Mick but also for mental health,” he said.
The idea for the ride from April 4 until April 15 came from a conversation Mr O’Callaghan had with one of the fellow riders who, when Mr O’Callaghan suggested walking from Port Hedland to Telfer, suggested they cycle.
“If we’re riding we’re not starting from Port Hedland we’re starting from Perth,” he said.
Mr Van Duren’s twin brother Stuart Van Duren said he felt overwhelmed by the support.
“It’s been massive for our family it was incredibly overwhelming to firstly get that call and to see what’s been done afterwards,” he said.
As part of the ride, the group have created a fundraising page for Beyond Blue and have so far raised more $40,000 for the charity.
Mr O’Callaghan said the outpouring of support from the community was overwhelming and that he never expected it to get this big.
He said said the ride had been gruelling, from facing 38C days riding, to trying to sleep in humid conditions at night.
“It’s a good analogy for it because mental health is tough and you’ve got to get through those parts and for us it’s whatever it takes to be able to get through it” He said.
Mr O’Callaghan urged people to reach out to those around them that might be suffering.
Lifeline: Phone: 13 11 14.
Crisis Care: Phone: 9223 1111;
Freecall: 1800 199 008.
The Samaritans: Perth 9381 5555;
Albany 9842 2776; Freecall: 1800 198 313.
Kids Help Line: Freecall: 1800 551 800.
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