Four-wheel driving – it might not be a cure for depression, but it can help, as Mackay local Darren Cook proved on the weekend.
The 48-year-old trained mechanic just got back from a 500km-plus, two-day, 32-car four-wheel drive journey to the pub and back to raise awareness and funds for depression.
He’s a bit weary and worn-out now, but he says he was able to raise about $1700 for Lifeline Australia in just one night, while the awareness raised for depression will be invaluable.
“It was fantastic,” he says. “So much positive has come out of it.”
The Tracks4Life event saw Cook and 68 other adventurers travel on public roads and forestry tracks from Mackay Harbour to Eungella Dam and Mt Barker to set up camp at the Bowen River Hotel on Saturday night.
Cook, who has battled depression and suicidal ideation, now hopes to organise a national drive to Uluru for charity.
“My ultimate goal, what I really want to see, is 1000 four-wheel drives parked at Uluru.”
“I’d love to see a national drive for suicide prevention.”
Cook drove a standard Isuzu D-Max with only a small increase in ride height and a set of all-terrain tyres. He says the drive was fun but not overly challenging and he encourages anyone interested to get involved in future drives.
Sponsors for the drive included AAA Exhaust and Fabrication, Redarc, Hema Maps, Chemtech, TJM Australia, RCS Telecommunications, Ontrak Diesel Repairs, and Comfort Soft Suspension.
For info on upcoming drives visit: www.terra4offroad.com
If you need mental health support, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Headspace on 1800 650.
Know a four-wheel drive club or group that has given back to the community? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org