Mark Williamson is all too familiar with the pain left behind after a suicide.
In 2011, his son Christopher, 20, died by suicide.
On Sunday, Mr Williamson and 400 other motorbike riders joined together in the region's second annual Black Dog Ride to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.
"It's [a cause] very close to both my wife and I's heart," he said.
"We lost our son to suicide and that's one of the key reasons for us getting behind the ride.
"I'm also an army veteran so I've got mates who suffer from depression and I've lost a couple of friends to suicide as well."
IN OTHER NEWS:
On Sunday, more than 225 people rode from Chopper Town in Wodonga to Happy Valley Hotel in Ovens, where they joined up with 200 riders from Wangaratta for the final leg of the ride to St Ives.
"There's a stigma to even talk about depression," he said.
"But we have to talk about it, if we don't talk we'll lose more and more people to suicide.
"We lose eight people every day of the year - that's more per annum than the national road toll.
"We need people to continue to talk."
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Black Dog Institute: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
- Beyond Blue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/
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