Family Violence and Mental Health
A society shows its maturity when it starts addressing things like mental heatlh awareness, child abuse and family violence. The links between many issues people may experience in their life and mental health problems is well known. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is one such problem that can rear its ugly head as a result of ongoing family violence.
Many of our members are trained in mental health first aid. It was great to see one such member, Kerrie Belmore, put her skills to use in identifying unusual behaviour causing her to ask if the person was OK. Over time, trust was gained and it turned out the particular person had been a victim of family violence and was suffering from PTSD. Not only that, but her children had also been diagnosed with the problem as well.
This family was in hiding trying to avoid further violence and attempting to make a new life for themselves. They were living in fear of being detected and the potential results from such a discovery.
Kerrie took it upon herself to organise a ride to give the family a day out in a caring environment. That's when another member, Andrew Humphrys volunteered to bring his trike all the way from Echuca so the kids could have a ride.
Our day started at Woodend and then we rode out to Trentham to a facility run by Dean Mighell, fellow motorcycle rider. Dean's facility is called "The Path of the Horse" and he specialises in using horses to work with people with mental health issues, particularly PTSD. Establishing a bond between horse and human is a fantastic way of rebuilding trust and confidence. Dean was fantastic with the kids and they were just thrilled to be around the horses and have their first ever ride.
Many of us on the ride got an enormous amount of pleasure simply from seeing the excitement on the kids' faces. For a brief period they were able to forget all the trauma they had been through and the problems they currently faced.
After a great lunch at the Pig and Whistle hotel in Trentham we all headed off home to reflect on what was a fantastic day. Obviously it would not of been possibly without Kerrie's alertness and skills, Andrew's generosity with his trike and Dean shuffling appointments around to accomodate our timing. Many thanks to you all.
This is not a post about Ride4Life and what we do, but about three great people who saw a problem and worked together to provide a solution, well at least for a day.