Thousands taking part in 1,100km Cycle Against Suicide 2016

Cyclists departed from Dublin's Phoenix Park this morning, and are due back in Dublin on May 7th

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More than 7,000 people began a 1,100km cycle this morning to raise awareness of suicide.

The 2016 Cycle Against Suicide departed from Dublin's Phoenix Park at 10.15am this morning and was predicted to arrive in Navan around lunchtime.

Now in its fourth year, the Cycle takes place over 14 days. It will finish in Dublin on May 7th.

The message for the 2016 Cycle is 'it's OK not to feel OK'.

This year, the charity is offering free registration to members and supporters of the LGBTI communities.

Jim Breen, founder of Cycle Against Suicide, says it is time to change our opinions around mental health as more than 800 people die by suicide in Ireland each year.

He says "this is something that has gone hidden and stigmatised over the last number of decades - and now we as an island are coming together and saying it's not good enough".