Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Black Dog Ride Comes To Vegas! Raising Awareness For Mental Health

More than 65 motorcyclists will roll into Las Vegas at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 as part of the inaugural, cross country Black Dog Ride and the accompanying WestCare rally. The event was created in partnership with Mental Health First Aid USA, and designed to raise mental health awareness and show support for the millions of Americans who are affected by depression and suicide. Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow will be on hand to discuss the local impact of veteran suicide. Performers from the Excalibur’s Thunder from Down Under show  and Las Vegas Metro Politian Police Department will escort the riders from the strip to the rally location.

“Mental Health First Aid increases peoples’ noticing skills and encourages them to reach out to those who may not be comfortable asking for help,” said Jennifer Hilton, WestCare Director of Training and Technology Transfer.  “That is powerful. The simple act of reaching out can save lives.”
The Black Dog Ride was founded in Australia in 2009, and has raised more than $1.7 million for mental health providers in Australia. This year, the group is raising money for Mental Health First Aid USA.

“We’ve trained more than 375,000 people in Mental Health First Aid in the U.S.,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which operates Mental Health First Aid. “We hope that the money raised in partnership with the Black Dog Ride will enable us to train hundreds of thousands more.”

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour course that gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary.

“WestCare is a wonderful organization that joins a long list of other nonprofit agencies that NWP has invested in since it was founded in 2005,” said NWP President Kelly Cavanagh. “We know that this will make a difference for both WestCare Nevada and the community.”

To learn more about Black Dog Ride Across America, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/black-dog- ride.

The event will take place at the Harley Davidson Dealership, 5191 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
For more information, visit www.westcare.com.

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