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Phoenix Motorcycle Training LTD

Why Mental Health First Aid Matters for Motorcyclists

In the UK, 75% of all suicide victims are male. It’s a harsh reality that we’re helping to change through our Phoenix motorcycle training centres. Over the past month, 22 of our instructors have been trained to provide Mental Health First Aid.

By the end of the year, we’ll be offering mental health first aid at each of our 22 training centres. You’ll be able to search for a local mental health first aider as easily as any of our other motorcycle training and courses. But we haven’t stopped there. We’ve also teamed up with Mental Health Motorbike — a UK charity — that actively works to improve the wellbeing of the motorcycling community.

Through our collaborative efforts, we’re building a dedicated network of mental health first aid support for bikers and their families. Because mental health for men is important for us all.

Why is men’s mental health important?

One in four adults in England experiences mental illness each year. Yet 75% of these people will go without the support and care they need to pull through. And suicide is the most common cause of death in men under 50. It’s a shocking and upsetting fact that men are slipping through the cracks in mental health support.

Around half of the UK’s population is male. When mental health problems are left unmanaged, they cripple someone’s ability to participate in life. That means families, workplaces and society suffers. Taking care of men’s mental health is a powerful way to improve individual lives, the lives of children and families, and the fabric of our society.

Why mental health is important for motorcyclists

Most motorcyclists and their families worry about the danger of riding a motorcycle. But, to put that risk into perspective, there were 1,558 road deaths in the UK in 2021. Around 20% or 310 of those deaths were motorcyclists. In the same year, 6,319 people took their own life. Around 4,700, or 75% of those deaths were men.

That makes motorcyclists a high-risk group because the majority of motorcyclists are men. In fact, 90% of motorcycle trips in the UK are made by men. When men are slipping through the gaps in mental health support, providing mental health first aid and similar resources can make a huge difference. 

Making mental health first aid freely available in the community groups that men are active in, is one of the best we can do this. That’s why we’re on board.

What is mental health first aid?

Mental health first aid can be as simple as a friendly smile, a non-judgmental ear and a compassionate chat about someone’s distress. Mental health first aiders aren’t therapists or medical professionals, but they do have the skills needed to make a difference in someone’s life.

The certified mental health first aiders at Phoenix’s motorcycle training centres can give anyone in trouble an empathetic ear, useful advice and support that will help them through their difficult time. The mental health first aid training covers the tools and knowledge needed to support motorcyclists and colleagues. Our mental health first aiders are already making sure our training centres are friendly and supportive environments for everyone. 

Three yearly refresher courses ensure mental health first aid certification is up to date. This means our instructors will always be able to help with the best mental health strategies and support for anyone who needs it.

Is riding a motorcycle therapeutic?

At Phoenix Motorcycle Training, we’re invested in helping you get the most from riding a motorcycle. We don’t just teach you the practical aspects of riding, you’ll learn about rider’s mind, how to ride defensively and how to get the most enjoyment from motorcycling.

We know that riding a motorcycle and riding it well, is great for your mental health. Enjoying the freedom of the road releases one of your happy neurotransmitters – dopamine. This improves your pleasure and mood and reduces pain.

Riding with a group, taking advanced training or joining in with trail rides, gives you a chance to connect with the motorcycling community. That’s great for your mental wellbeing because it gives you opportunities to chat with others, improve your skill and feel better about who you are.

Concentrating on the road ahead and handling your machine well takes your mind away from worries and rumination. What’s more, getting outside lets you feel the wind, hear the sounds of nature and feel the warmth of the sun. Mountains of research show that getting outside is great for your mental health.

More ways to boost motorcyclists’ wellbeing

Our work with Mental Health Motorbike means there are now even more mental health benefits to riding your motorcycle. As the network of mental health first aid and resources grow, riders will easily be able to access the help they need when times get tough. The motorcycling community is a tight-knit and supportive group. Our collaboration with Mental Health Motorbike is making that community even stronger.

If life is getting you down, reach out to those around you. And if this feels like too much, get in touch with a Phoenix training centre or Mental Health Motorbike. We care about our community and we care about you. Together we can change the worrying statistics and improve mental health for men in the UK. 

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