Mental Awareness Foundation (MAF) is driven by a group of individuals who implement strategies to raise awareness of depression and mental illness in society. The foundation has appointed a Chief Executive Officer, Raewyn Bailey, in 2020.
The Mental Awareness Foundation aims to support charities that are working directly with communities to raise awareness of mental health. It achieves this through the delivery of experiences and events including the Walk for Awareness, Australia’s largest mental health walk.
The appointment of the CEO comes at a time that the MAF board considers integral to take the annual event to a new level and broaden the reach with the community, corporates and stakeholders.
Walk for Awareness, an annual 8km mental health walk around the Brisbane River loop which will take place on Sunday October 11th, allows the Foundation to support charities that are raising awareness on depression and mental illness to also be accepted and recognised.
Until recently, Raewyn ran her own recruitment business for 25-years and following that has worked in philanthropy for 18-months. In 2019 Raewyn joined the board of the Mental Awareness Foundation before taking on the role as Chief Executive Officer.
“I was asked to join the board in January 2019 by the Chair Aaron Zamykal but coincidentally had gone to the inaugural walk 9 years ago with my husband as he knew the co-founders – Wes and Tudor Vasile.
Raewyn is driven to make a difference to mental health and awareness and has a personal connection to mental illness.
“I have always believed you should have a role you are passionate about and this is that role for me! I have been personally affected by mental illness and just want to make a difference to people’s lives and reduce the frightening statistics of suicide in Australia.
“At 17 my whole world changed when I lost my father to suicide. I can understand the pain, guilt and regret those that are left behind feel. I hope that by reducing the stigma around suicide and opening up conversations we can save lives,” said Raewyn.
“I think we all have a connection to Mental health awareness, haven’t we all had a friend or family member who might not be coping at some stage in their lives? By raising awareness we give people hope and let them know they are not alone,” Raewyn added.
Walk for Awareness, now in its 10th year, has grown radically by participation. The inaugural event hosted just 110 participants, nine years on and the 2019 event commended over 3,000 walkers to the starting line. The aim of MAF is to draw a greater crowd in 2020 by encouraging the community and stakeholders to take a stand for mental health and awareness.
“Having been on the inaugural walk 9 years ago with around 110 participants and then being a part of this year’s walk with over 3000 people – what an event!! So much love, energy and people connecting, I am very proud to be part of MAF,” said Raewyn.
Walk for Awareness is the opening events of the 2020 Queensland Mental Health Week and early bird entries are now open, inviting the community to join the movement.
“There are so many ways to be involved!! Sponsorship, corporate tents, volunteer or just grab a friend for the 11th October 2020 who you think might need a walk to feel better and be part of a morning filled with energy and love!” exclaimed the CEO.
The new Mental Awareness Foundation Chief Executive officer, Raewyn Bailey, stands by the motto:
Life is not a dress rehearsal – if you are not happy, change it, you only get one chance at this.
Join us and take a stand for mental health!
Save the date: 2020 Walk for Awareness is on Sunday, 11 October
Register today and save – early bird entries are open!