Motorbike riders pull into Eltham yesterday during the annual Compression versus Depression ride.
Motorbike riders pull into Eltham yesterday during the annual Compression versus Depression ride. Marc Stapelberg

Revved up for charity that helps those in need

THE peace and quiet of Eltham were shattered yesterday when 150 motorbike riders roared into town as part of the sixth annual Compression versus Depression social ride.

The fundraising event aims to promote awareness of mental health issues.

Lifeline Northern Rivers Counselling Centre manager Niall Mulligan said this year's ride was a great success with more than $10,000 raised in aid of Lifeline Northern Rivers.

"Over the past six years we have raised $40,000 which is more than 3000 calls of which some 200 would be with people who are in life-threatening situations," he said.

"That means events like this directly translate into saving lives.

"The ride also promotes awareness of the mental health issues that can potentially affect anybody in our community and highlights the positive part that we can all play in de-stigmatising and responding to those issues."

Alstonville riders Laurel Eggins and Bill Haley were among those who took part in yesterday's event.

Ms Eggins, who revealed she had suffered from depression, said it was an opportunity to supporting a good cause while catching up with other bike riders.

"And the feeling of freedom when you are on the bike is amazing."

Health Services Union state secretary Gerard Hayes said the organisation was proud to support the annual event.

"HSU members pride themselves on assisting their community and Lifeline Northern Rivers plays an important role in our community," he said.

"It is great to see so many people coming together to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health."



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