This will be my 6th Hawaiian Ride for Youth campaign.
Each year that I'm involved in this fundraiser further reinforces my belief that mental health is the biggest medical challenge that we face today. Our modern world presents challenges for our young people that we simply didn't face as kids.
They are asked to deal with a world dominated by public opinion. Where perception trumps reality. A world dominated by social media, by likes and shares. By social and emotional pressures that we often don't understand and where we aren't best equipped to help them.
And that's why I feel the work of Youth Focus is so vital to giving the young people of WA the best chance of navigating the ups and down of childhood. In some cases, literally surviving childhood.
Youth Focus puts people alongside our kids that are qualified to understand what they are facing and to be a (free) helping hand where they need it. To be someone to talk to. To listen.
Every year I reflect on the fact that it could be one of my kids, or one of my friends' kids, that need that sort of help. I'm happy therefore to do the training, lead the Hawaiian sponsored team as Captain and eventually ride the 700kms from Albany to Perth to help raise those funds. I would be entirely grateful if you would consider donating to my rider fund to be a part of that campaign, as at the very centre of my involvement in this event is the deep belief that every youth suicide is as preventable as it is tragic. Lets not just reflect on the frightening statistics. Lets actively take positive steps to change them.
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