The first mental health forum in Australian racing history is soon to be held in Western Australia.

The free event, titled Making Sense of Anxiety, Depression and Suicide, has been created to help those in the racing community understand how to support friends and family through mental health challenges.

Peter Symons, author of Brain-Fuel Depletion – Making Sense of Anxiety and Depression, will open the forum by discussing his own experience.

“The racing industry is just like the rest of society in having mental health issues and I don’t see them going away any time soon. As I get near the end of my career, I feel I should make a contribution,” Peter said.

“To recover from any disease, you have to understand the cause. If you understand the problem, the solutions become obvious.”

He will be followed by trainers Lou Luciani and David Harrison as well as clinical psychologist Kim Mercer in talking about personal experiences and guidance for care.

Peter said it was important for people in racing to become more comfortable with asking for help and getting “three late-middle-aged guys to talk about their personal feelings on this issue” was a big step forward.

The forum aims to open the discussion of mental health by explaining complex mental conditions and how to support those with mental challenges.

The forum is proudly supported by Perth Racing, the WA Racing Trainers Association and Racing and Wagering Western Australia.

The event will be held at Ascot Racecourse Grandstand on May 3, with attendees encouraged to bring along an interested friend or family member.

Further information on the event can be found here.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, contact Racing Assist for free, independent and confidential psychological support anytime and anywhere.  For more information visit or call 1300 307 912.

Event details:

WA Racing Industry Mental Health Forum
Tuesday, 3 May 2022
6pm – 7:30pm
Ascot Racecourse Grandstand