(BRISBANE, Queensland, 14 August 2019) – United and ready to break the silence, Brisbane will once again play host to Australia’s largest mental health walk – Walk for Awareness on Sunday, 6 October 2019.
Walk for Awareness supported by Tessa Group will be the opening event for the 2019 Queensland Mental Health Week and the theme this year is ‘take time for mental health’.
An initiative of the Mental Awareness Foundation (MAF), Walk for Awareness will transform the city and October long-weekend into a front line of community support, encouraging group participation and physical activity in a positive and supportive environment – all of which is proven to have a positive impact on mental health.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics study: National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, each day approximately eight lives are lost to suicide and over 180 individuals contemplate their ability to overcome their fight with mental illness*. These staggering numbers mean that every 10 minutes in Australia, one new attempt is made.
Brisbane brothers and MAF Founders Tudor and Wesley Vasile, established the event after losing two friends to suicide in 2011, ensure the event is positive and uplifting, while also taking the time to reflect and remember.
“At Walk For Awareness we encourage mental wellness through participation and movement. Before we commenced the walk in 2018, I encouraged the community to take a minute silence to reflect why we are here and honour our loves ones and each other. We are all here for different reasons but together we will take a stand for mental awareness and support one another,” Wesley said.
Tudor echoes his brother’s sentiment, seeing the walk as an opportunity to meet with like-minded individuals ready to talk about their experiences and learn how to support those currently affected by mental illness.
“Our goal has always been to remove roadblocks and bring people together in an environment they feel comfortable sharing their own personal experiences in, whether it’s themselves, their child, a friend or a colleague – we want people to tell their story on the Story Bridge.
“The biggest positive that has come out of creating this community is that people are now starting to believe they can open up about their struggles, breaking down this idea that it is a taboo subject. It’s like any other disease, so why treat it differently? With one in five Australians dealing with mental illness each year, we want to change the conversation from negative to positive and reduce this number to zero,” Tudor said.
In 2018, over $165,000 was raised by the Mental Awareness Foundation through Walk for Awareness, contributing to supporting charities that work directly with communities and proactively implement initiatives to raise awareness of mental illnesses and support services.
“We also want to get more men involved! Not many people know but the suicide rate is actually three times higher in males so we need to encourage them to start talking,” added Tudor.
Wesley says it is all about finding support and working towards a mental health that works for each individual.
“No matter what it is, whether it’s running, walking, yoga, meditation or speaking to a friend – it’s all about taking a positive step for their mental health. At the end of the day, we just want people to do thing that makes them feel good.
“This is an opportunity for the community to come together to support each other, to break the silence on mental illness and to contribute to the funding of programs that are making a difference on the front line with mental health issues,” Wesley said.
At this year’s Walk for Awareness, participants can expect an inspiring line-up of fun, informative and uplifting activities, including an opening ceremony of remembrance and mindfulness, and an 8km walk around Brisbane’s scenic river.
Registrations for the event are now open via www.walkforawareness.com.au. People of all ages, genders and fitness levels are encouraged to get involved to help make a difference on the front line with mental illness. Team Retreat opportunities are also available.
EVENT DETAILS – Walk For Awareness
Date: Sunday, 6 October 2019
Time: from 6:00am – 12:00pm
Venue: Captain Burke Park, Kangaroo Point, QLD
Who? Anyone aged 13+
For media and PR enquiries please contact:
Courtney Akrigg | Walk for Awareness PR | email@example.com | +61 411167975