Pedal power for youth mental health

Good luck to APM’s Fiona Kalaf and Cameron Tweedie who are hitting the roads of Western Australia this week in the Hawaiian Ride For Youth.

The annual cycling event is held across 4.5 days with riders covering over 700kms on their way from Albany to Perth to raise funds and awareness for Youth Focus.

While cycling through towns in WA’s South West, Great Southern and Wheatbelt the riders visit high schools to engage with students on issues of youth suicide, depression, anxiety and self-harm.

Fiona and Cameron are no strangers to the challenging fundraiser as both have donned the lycra, helmets and determination needed to make the distance in previous years.

Fiona has been supporting the event since 2016 and this is her fourth ride as a participant.

The 2022 ride is Cameron’s third and both cyclists say the months of early mornings, long rides and pain of sitting in a bike saddle for hours is worth it.

Together with APM’s Greg Meyerowitz who took to two wheels in previous rides, Fiona and Cameron’s years of cycling have raised more than $100,000 for the valuable WA charity event.

The purpose of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth is to raise funds to support Youth Focus’s youth mental health services and to remove the stigma associated with mental health.

You can support both riders through their individual fundraising pages here:

Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Arthur Papakotsias said the Hawaiian Ride for Youth was a key event in Youth Focus’s fundraising calendar that contributed essential funds to youth mental health services in WA.

“We cannot overstate the importance of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth in supporting Youth Focus to ensure we are able to reach as many young people as we can,” Mr Papakotsias said.

Youth Focus is the only specialist non-government youth mental health service in WA and works to prevent suicide and improve the mental health of young people aged 12 to 25 through free counselling and community education services.

Last financial year Youth Focus supported 4,599 young people with free professional counselling and another 7,696 people through school and community education programs at 48 schools.

Each peloton will cover 700km to Perth, stopping at regional towns including Albany, Walpole, Pemberton, Busselton, Bridgetown, Collie, Gnowangerup, Katanning, Narrogin, Bunbury and Mandurah.