This is the third year I have supported this very worthwhile event and inspired by my best mates efforts last year, I thought it was time to do it properly and raise some money for this terrific cause.
I have been fortunate enough to work with young Australians for the last 20 years, and most of them in a Student Counsellor capacity. During this time I have listened to gut wrenching stories of young people and their families going through really tough times resulting in really poor mental health. The hardest part of my job is listening to young people say they want to end their life and then have to make the phone call to their often unsuspecting parents to let them know. On the flip side their are students who seek help and are shown ways to cope with hard times and come out the other side with a different perspective and a toolbox of strategies for when things aren't great.
The statistics in Australia are confronting to say the least; a quarter of 16-24 year olds currently experiencing a mental health condition, up to half of adult mental health disorders emerge by the age of 14, it's estimated that every 10 minutes in Australia a 16-24 year old attempts suicide which is roughly 76,000 per year and for every road death in Australia there are at least 2 completed suicides. Imagine if the government put double the money into mental health as they do maintaining roads, paying for road safety campaigns, paying for police to ensure safety on the roads, etc, etc because the same value was put on a person who took their own life as a person who died a tragic death through a road accident.
Enough of the rant, please start a conversation today and get people talking about mental health and suicide, it shouldn't be a taboo topic in today's society. Talking about it openly and admitting when we aren't travelling the best is a really strong and healthy thing to do and the more we do this the quicker the stigma will go away. If you had a festering sore on your body you would talk to someone so why not when you have festering thoughts? At the end of that conversation if you could share this fundraising portal with as many friends as you can, ask them to share it also and then donate that would be greatly appreciated.