Ski for Life sets off from Sturt Reserve | PHOTOS

Nearly 300 people strapped on skis, boarded boats, or jumped in cars at Sturt Reserve on Friday morning as the ninth Ski for Life event left Murray Bridge.

Ski for Life is an event that raises awareness of mental health and illness, wellbeing, and suicide prevention as skiers head from Murray Bridge to Renmark on the March long weekend.

Twenty-seven teams from around Australia are taking part in the 456-kilometre ski trip this year.

Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick congratulated everyone involved with the event and wished them godspeed as they prepared to set off from Murray Bridge.

"We do have to highlight the scourge of suicide right across the country - it sadly has a toll of around 3000 people per annum," he said.

He noted COVID-19's impact on the mental health of Australians.

"I think the whole issue around COVID-19 is something that has accentuated possibly bad thoughts in some people about being isolated at home, had to stay in their houses or their properties for extended periods of time," he said.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said 2020 was "tough, completely shit", and many in the community were still dealing with the impact of the year's events.

"Mental wellness is really important and destigmatising mental unwellness is the most important thing, in my view," he said.

"What you're doing today, 290 of you over the course of the next three days, is very much not just raising money but raising spirits and also in my view, destigmatising questions around mental unwellness.

"450km in three days - I'm going to expect that's tough, but so is living with mental illness, so thank you for doing this."