New charity aims to combat bikers' mental health struggles

A new charity, Mental Health Motorbike, has been established aiming to help motorcyclists struggling with their mental health.

Mental Health Motorbike's BMW R1200GS.

BACK in October 2021, we at Visordown listed five ways motorcycling can positively impact your mental health. Now, Mental Health Motorbike (MHM), a charity two years in the making, has been set up aiming to create a support community “for bikers, by bikers,” and to encourage more motorcyclists to become trained in mental health first aid, details for which can be found on the MHM website

Among MHM’s aims and objectives are raising awareness for mental health, particularly in the motorcycling community and with the involvement of the bike industry; to “have a mental health first aider in every town and city in the UK”; and to “reduce suicide amongst bikers.” 

Speaking to the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), founder Paul Oxborough said the idea for the charity came about when “we lost a friend to suicide and decided we had to do something about it. Having been a motorcyclist for so long, I knew that community and thought it was a good place to start.” He bought a BMW R1200GS which became the "Mental Health Motorbike machine" and took the same two-day mental health first aid course MHM is now trying to promote and encourage other motorcyclists to take.

Oxborough also said that “we knew this had to be an open group [...] not just for men, which is how we’ve ended up with a very diverse group of people aged from 17-70. One thing they all have in common is a love of motorcycling. It’s  the glue that holds us together.” 

Mental Health Motorbike also engages directly with people struggling with their mental health with an online support group, presentations to organisations such as workplaces and schools, and visits to motorcycling events.

There are a number of mental health resources for people in need of help and support that can be accessed by following the "resources" dropdown menu on the Mental Health Motorbike website, here.