A PASSIONATE group of riders with heartbreaking stories to share pedalled into Griffith on Saturday afternoon.
The Community Action for Suicide Elimination (CASE) group rode into Griffith on their journey from Hay to Canberra just in time for a Headspace 4 Griffith community barbecue.
The two lobby groups are on a combined mission to bring a Headspace facility to Griffith in the hope of bringing down the tragically high number of suicides across the region.
The riders were led by former mayor of Hay, Peter Dwyer, who has lost two close friends to suicide.
CASE secretary Ken Larkin said the reception so far had been "fantastic". n Continued Page 2
"It's about delivering our message to communities," Mr Larkin said.
"People want to talk to us because they're very interested in the subject.
"It's not something people often talk about but when given the opportunity, they really want to talk about it."
The 12 riders, aged between 18 and 67, are expected to arrive in Canberra at midday on Thursday.
Headspace 4 Griffith committee president Peta Dummett said the riders were on an important journey to de-stigmatise mental illness and raise awareness for their own suicide intervention program.
"The speeches were really heartfelt," Mrs Dummett said.
"They actually run a program in Hay that teaches intervention skills for people to prevent suicides from occurring.
"They train people to help deal with mental illness and depression within their own community and I think they've trained about 200 people so far."
Youth off the Streets (YOTS) was also involved on Saturday and cooked the barbecue for the hungry riders.
The Youth Week Party that was also planned for the day was called off due to soggy conditions cause by last week's rain.