JERRABOMBERRA man Nick Nancarrow said it wasn't until completing the Black Dog Ride that he truly understood the disease of depression.
Mr Nancarrow was one of more than 600 riders who recently travelled to Alice Springs as part of the Black Dog Ride. The aim of the journey is to fundraise and increase awareness of depression and suicide prevention.
Although Mr Nancarrow, 43, has never experienced depression himself those close to him have been affected by the disease including his son Jason, 18.
"My eldest son has for many years suffered from depression and this was my way of acknowledging that the issue needs to be better spoken about with no stigma attached to it. We can all feel 'down in the dumps' at any stage in our lives," Mr Nancarrow said.
"It was hard for me to understand what Jason was going through at the time. I came from a generation where you're taught to 'suck it up princess'. My father was a hard person and in some ways I think I am too.
"I had plenty of time to think about all this while I was riding out."
A motorbike enthusiast, Mr Nancarrow was simply looking to join a rally when a friend suggested the Black Dog Ride.
He said the experience has been life changing and opened his eyes to how depression affects others and in particular men.
"After this ride, I've realised the hardships people are going through. It's made me more open and made me feel more open about talking to people," he said.
"Females have their friends, they'll talk more openly than males do. We just suck it up and go out and work.
"We don't get to express our feelings and it makes it worse, you think you're doing it all by yourself, doing it hard and there's no one else to talk to.
"Communication is key, it's just about talking even if it's to your mate and letting them into what you're feeling.
"If you feel like your mate doesn't want to talk to you, find another one, another person. That's what it comes down to, talk to the right person and they'll point you in the right direction."
Mr Nancarrow said he would definitely like do another Black Dog Ride. He hopes it's an experience he might be able to share with his estranged son one day.
"I would love to put Jason on a bike - he rides as well and drag him along with me," he said. "I think it would be great."