Depression sufferer rides from Canada to Argentina to raise awareness
Auckland man Isaac London is about to get on his bike for a journey that will take him more than a year.
The Glen Eden resident will ride his dual-sport bike from Canada to Argentina to raise awareness for mental health illnesses.
London himself was diagnosed with depression in July 2015 but couldn't say how long he had dealt with it.
"I do remember a stand out moment in my last year of high school where I didn't see the point of the last 13 years of my life and vocalised it to my class and teacher," he said.
"I remember the blank stares back, and I think from then I started battling with it."
When he was diagnosed, the 23-year-old said it was a shock but he had a moment of understanding.
London said he met a man on a bus in Canada last year who was halfway through a trip raising money for war veterans in the United Kingdom.
He continued to meet people on similar excursions and decided adventure riding, for a cause, was something he wanted to do.
London would start in Canada as he was there on a working visa.
He said Ushuaia, Argentina was the southernmost city in the world and riding that far down was a nice challenge.
He said he expected it to cover between 30,000 and 60,000 kilometres and take more than a year.
"I also anticipate mentally reaching some low points, so physically and mentally this trip is about going as far down as I can push myself."
London said other struggles he would face included camping in unknown environments, crossing borders, personal security, anxiety attacks and depressive episodes.
"I'm honestly trying not to think about it too much and just let them come."
London said he had not experienced suicidal thoughts in a while but had in the past.
"The suicidal thoughts were the times that I didn't want to fight anymore.
"I now try to be aware of my thought patterns before they reach that point, but it has been a long road to reach this point."
London will leave for his year-long trip on September 16 (NZ time) and said he hoped to be home by Christmas 2018.
Head here to follow London's journey.
WHERE TO GET HELP
Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
Depression Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 111 757
Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116
Samaritans (open 24/7) - 0800 726 666
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
0800 WHATSUP children's helpline - phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
Kidsline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
Your local Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) - 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.