Cycle Against Suicide is a charity striving to break down the barriers around mental illness, and works to increase awareness of the supports and treatments that are available to empower those affected. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death globally in all age groups. Throughout Ireland, over 800 people die by suicide annually.

There are issues and struggles around mental illness within society with individuals being subject to social stigma. To address this prejudice and to create a stigma free society, Cycle Against Suicide sets out to develop a national awareness of its core message:

‘It’s OK not to feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help’.

Yesterday Hazelwood Integrated College did their bit to help this great event. On Monday evening the cyclists arrived to a warm welcome had a well-deserved snack supplied by Tesco Newtownabbey Community. Cyclists met up with their host stays, who would be looking after them for the night and ensured they got some rest. This morning cyclists and organisers were met and supported by students of Hazelwood and we were all moved by stories and the great work that ‘Cycle Against Suicide’ is trying to achieve. Several organisations were also in attendance to help inform young people of the help available to them – Alcohol Awareness, Lighthouse, Extern, Start360, Fresh Little Minds

Finally, the cyclists were given a monumental send off by Hazelwood, Boys Model, St. Malachy’s College, Mercy College, Trinity College and the Springboard Group. A huge thank you to all who helped make this event at great success!