Helping the community with training, or how to be less of a dick

You wake up, you stumble into the shower, get dressed and do work. You eat, you drink, you get some brief entertainment from the show on TV that you aren’t really bothered about. You go to bed.

Occasionally you get to go out and ride that motorcycle you keep in the garage. Sometimes you get to do something special.

At this point in time I should have been completing a tour of Northern Spain and Portugal. Instead I find myself on a MHFA England course to be a mental health first aider. How did I end up here? Mental Health Motorbike…

We all have mental health

Whether you are aware of it or not, you will have been exposed to mental health. Everyone has it, and in the same way that you can have good and bad physical health the same is the case for mental health. If your mental health is poor or neglected it can get to a point where it can effect your ability to deal with the stresses of modern life.

This has never been so important given the conditions we are all living with during the Covid19 restrictions and lockdowns.

So you’ve heard of Mental Health Motorbike?

You may have previously seen my involvement with Mental Health Motorbike. I met with one of the founders, Paul Oxborough, in March just before the country locked down. At that point I was fully expecting to be attending events and book signings, and wanted to use these opportunities to support a charity.

You can tell by the lockdown hair growth that this wasn’t the March meeting

Mental Health Motorbike was in its infancy at this stage but I could see the potential to do something for the greater good. I have in the past had a tendency to be a bit thick skinned. Despite this I have felt jaded by the often toxic nature of social media. There was a bit of self improvement behind my actions as well as to help others. I think we all have the capacity to improve in some way.

Roll forward to present day…

What’s it all about and why does it matter?

Mental Health Motorbike are a free mental health support service for the biking community. The intention is to create the countries first free biker friendly national support network.

One in four adults in the UK have been diagnosed with mental illness, 75% of people with diagnosed mental health illnesses receive no treatment, suicide is the most common cause of death of men aged 20-49 and 75% of suicides are males. The biking community are a very high risk group receiving very little or no support. 

MHFA England

One of the goals of Mental Health Motorbike is to have a mental health first aider trained by MHFA England in every city in the UK. This is how I found myself on the MHFA England course, conducted by Mental Health Motorbike over Zoom.

The insight is has given me has been a revelation. Already I am picking up on subtle signs from family, friends and colleagues. These mental health warning signs would not be considered out of the normal, and are normal it should be said. Rather than the signs being dismissed, awareness allows compassionate and empathetic discussion.

I would recommend the course to anyone.

Mental Health Motorbike “Ride to recruit” Baton Relay 2021

To help promote the training and to achieve the national support network I have been working with Mental Health Motorbike to project manage a baton relay ride in May 2021. Starting at MediaCityUK in Salford we will be taking a GPS tracked baton across the whole of the UK calling in to as many biker cafes and places of interest.

It’s a massive undertaking and we will be covering over 3000 miles. The support we are starting to get is fantastic and the ride is starting to get recognition such as this article in the MCN.

We are getting daily approaches of support but we are looking for more. Particularly with:

  • Sponsorship opportunities on the baton relay event in 2021
  • Hosting of media opportunities as the ride passes through one of the UK regions
  • Displaying promotional material in places of business
  • Placing members of staff on our MHFA England mental health first aid courses

To find out more visit search MHMotorbike on social media.

Let get the word out and make this a success, not just for the benefit of the event, but the very real support that can be given to the whole biking community.

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