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One man’s crusade to make a difference

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There are eight deaths by suicide in Australia every single day.

Ian Kidd wants this to change.

On Monday 30 March the 64-year-old will embark on a solo 1,800km bike ride from Lake Eyre to Mt Kosciuszko.

He is cycling the stretch in a bid to raise money for his local Lifeline Centre.

It’s a cause close to his heart as he has struggled with his own mental health for many years.

Mr Kidd was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the tragic death of three youths who he had been relatively close to, and the death of another who he had unsuccessfully performed CPR on.

They had taken their own lives.

A medically retired teacher, cycling has played a major role in his survival.

“I’m on a bit of crusade to get my life back together,” he said.

“In 2018 I was at a really low point and things have been on the up since then.”

His ride, From the Lowest Point is symbolic of his battle and the battle of others.

“I will be travelling from Australia’s lowest point (in altitude) to its highest,” he said.

“This, in some small way, is meant to be symbolic of my struggles and the struggles of others with mental health.”

He added that he hopes his ride brings awareness to the importance of mental health services and getting help.

According to Mr Kidd mental health and mental illness are taboo topics, he believes people need to become more accepting of them to open a dialogue.

“A lot of people are scared of the topic,” he says.

“You mention mental health or mental illness and people just hide but if people are open about it and people are accepting it makes it so much easier.”

Mr Kidd hopes to raise $7,100 to cover the cost of 100 face-to-face counselling sessions, which are available to the community at no cost through the Lifeline Counselling Service.

Lifeline Direct’s Karissa Lewis says they are very grateful to Mr Kidd for what he is doing.

She adds that the funds raised “will make the biggest difference to the local community”.

“We are absolutely desperate for funding,” she says.

“These vital services have to remain.”

Go to give.everydayhero.com/au/from-the-lowest-point to donate to Mr Kidd’s ride.

If you need support call Lifeline’s crisis support line on 13 11 14.

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