Taking care of your mental health is important, especially in these, uh, unprecedented times we’re living in. As you probably are already extremely aware if you’re reading RideApart, motorbikes and mental health can often go hand in hand. Whether we’re riding them, wrenching on them, or talking about them, there’s something special about bikes—and the people who love them.
That’s why an organisation like Mental Health Motorbike is so important, and now more than perhaps ever. MHM is based in the UK, but to be honest, it sounds like the kind of thing that could benefit a lot of rider communities around the world. One of the organisation's stated goals is to grow a network of trained “mental health first aiders” throughout the UK. It also aims to create a peer support network, helping riders throughout the UK feel less socially isolated in these extremely isolating times.
It’s a volunteer-run organisation, which also officially became a registered UK charity in 2021 after having first formed in 2020. To be clear, training to be a mental health first aider doesn’t mean you’re on the path to becoming a counsellor or therapist—rather, you’re a person who enjoys riding motorcycles and who can also recognise and help others cope with poor mental health. It teaches skills to help those in crisis, or to help recognise those in crisis so you can offer them assistance.
Importantly, MHM founding director Paul Oxborough told MCN, the group of volunteers isn’t all one type of rider. Instead, it’s a variety of riders across a wide range of ages, genders, and sexual orientations, all trying to learn skills to help themselves and other riders better cope with our strange new world. Let’s face it, we all have a lot going on, and it’s only going to get more complicated as time goes on. Motorcycles can bring people together—and they can help us help other riders, too.
If you’re interested in learning more about what MHM does, we’ll include a link in our sources below so you can check them out.