Hawaiian Ride For Youth Rider - Matt Kelly

Matt Kelly has been involved in the Hawaiian Ride for Youth for 10 years and in that time, he has seen the tangible impact the riders and other organisations have had in helping to remove the stigma from mental health conversations.

Breaking down those barriers, encouraging honest conversations around mental health and helping young people build to resilience is critically important, he says.

It is also important to Matt that his young adult children see their Dad helping the community and working for positive mental health.

“I have had people close to me require counselling and treatment for anxiety and depression.  It is terrible to watch, and you feel like you are failing them when not able to offer a magic solution to make them see the world differently,” Matt says.

“Personally, I have mostly good days - but, like most, also some not so good days; days where I hear my thoughts too loudly.  I think the Hawaiian Ride for Youth and awareness of mental health issues has helped my own resilience.” 

The 2020 Hawaiian Ride for Youth requires each rider to fundraise at least $5000 for Youth Focus and the money raised goes directly into services to help young West Australians aged 12 to 25 at risk of serious mental health issues like suicide, depression and anxiety.

When asked what advice he would give to a young person struggling with their mental health, Matt responds: “Tell someone.  Just hearing them respond with a kind word will make you feel less alone and ready to take the next step to start feeling like you should.”

Matt’s reason for doing the 2020 Hawaiian Ride for Youth:

“The Hawaiian Ride for Youth adds to my sense of purpose. I hope the physical and mental wellbeing I gain will inspire others.”

Matt’s Quick Quiz:

What’s the best part of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth? “The camaraderie of a new “tribe” of riders each year, the school visits which remind us of the importance of what we are doing and hearing the personal journeys of fellow riders.”

What’s the worst part: “Realising how quickly your fitness drops over the Christmas training break!”

If you'd like to learn more about the Hawaiian Ride for Youth or how to help Mark in his fundraising visit: https://www.rideforyouth.com.au