by Nick Raman
My involvement with Drive Against Depression came about through my valued friendship with Adam.
I was aware of Adam’s mental health challenges from the time we first met – as industry colleagues – but have watched in admiration at the way he and his wife Sarah have built what I see as a critically important service to the community.
I would support DAD regardless of my strong ties with Adam and Sarah. My family has a history of mental health affliction. My grandmother suffered from bipolar disorder and other relatives have been affected by depression.
However, just to support from the sidelines would be doing a disservice to DAD and what it can deliver to those in need. My full appreciation of the charity was only fully realised when I took part in my first DAD drive day late last year. This was during a difficult time for me personally, having just been through a marriage separation. Meeting fantastic new people and driving cars on a well-planned route through the sublime Victorian countryside in mid-spring genuinely led to one of the most rewarding days of my life.
I’ll never forget sitting at the lunch stop – a breathtaking leafy campsite out of Eltham – chatting to a band of warm, friendly and easy-going people. I could not have been made to feel more welcome. A hugely uplifting experience, and just at the right time.
Since that day I have taken every opportunity afforded by Adam and Sarah to get involved with standalone or affiliated DAD events, including addressing competitors before stage one of the Mt Baw Baw round of the Australian Tarmac Rally Championship (ATRC) and providing a welcome speech to participants in a mid-year drive day.
Drive Against Depression combines personal passions of mine – helping others and cars. And I could not be happier that two dear friends have gone forth fearlessly and selflessly to create experiences that change people’s lives for the better.
They’ve certainly done that for me.