Posted by Steve Lettau on Mar 24, 2021

By Dieter Schneider, member of the Rotary Motorcyclist Fellowship (IFMR) and the Rotary Club Würzburg

A year after my son took his own life after suffering from severe depression, I set off on a motorcycle to Cape Town, South Africa. The trip through East Africa was both a time to process trauma and fulfill a desire for adventure. My encounters with interesting people and my experiences on this fascinating continent healed my inner turmoil. When I arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, I made a life-changing decision.

I wanted to get involved in mental health and suicide prevention. My club, the Rotary Club of Würzburg, Germany, supported me in a project that I called “Fellows Ride.” In June 2018, I started a ride around the world on a BMW 800 GS motorcycle. Even though I was driven by wanderlust and a thirst for adventure, this time I also had a mission. I wanted to shift attention off of myself and build awareness for the insidious disease of depression.