More than 70 riders donned their leather gear on Saturday to take a stand against suicide.
The event was one of many held this week around World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, which included talks by chief coroner Judge Neil MacLean and comedian Mike King.
On Saturday the riders, including the Super Maori Fullas, travelling under the banners of the RATS - Riders Against Teenage Suicide - started in Stratford before riding to Hawera.
Back in Stratford there was a small event at the new Tutaki Youth Centre, before the riders headed to the waterfront in New Plymouth.
The main event was held in Inglewood in the afternoon, where 100 people gathered to listen to music and look at the bikes, Taranaki Suicide Prevention Co-ordination Group (TSPCG) chairwoman Fi Szpetnar-Perez said.
"Judge MacLean has been doing a fabulous job talking about lifting the veil of silence and saying let's talk about this," Mrs Szpetnar-Perez said.
Each year TSPCG likes to do something that raises awareness around suicide and good mental health, she said.
Mrs Szpetnar-Perez was widowed in 2008 after the suicide of her then husband Jerome Perez.
"That sucked. And I realised how much that sucked and I didn't want people to go through that. I'm a reasonably strong person and it nearly destroyed me," she said.
"There was the shame and the stigma. People didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want him defined by the way he died. I wanted him defined by the way he lived."
Since then she has been speaking to people about the signs and getting support.
The key to suicide prevention is good mental health and being connected.
"We're trying to move the ambulance way back from the cliff, so you don't even see the edge. This is what this event is about."
It's important to be connected, she said. "We live in such a highly electronically connected world, but socially we're disconnected. I know kids who sit in the same room and text each other. If this helps one person, then great."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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