Benalla's Michael Donehue is walking from Albury to Benalla to raise awareness for youth mental health issues.January 30, 2014 9:02am
Walking in support: Michael Donehue is walking from Albury to Benalla to raise awareness for youth mental health issues.
In Australia it is estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition during their lifetime.
There were 2273 deaths from suicide registered in 2011, and one quarter of all deaths — male and female between the ages of 15 and 29 — was due to suicide.
According to the Victorian Population Health Survey, in 2008, 10.9 per cent of Benalla residents reported a high or very high level of psychological distress.
The Benalla Ensign continues its mental health campaign and believes it is time to act.
Michael Donehue knows what it is like to be affected by mental illness.
The 26-year-old suffered depression for several years and also watched family and friends battle the silent illness.
Now he is trying to help others, as he prepares to walk 126
‘‘Going through depression myself, when I saw this opportunity to actually walk and raise awareness for mental health in youth I thought it was a fantastic opportunity for me and for the community,’’ Mr Donehue said.
Love Me Love You was founded by ex-AFL footballer Lance Picioane to help prevent and control youth mental health disorders and substance abuse.
In April Mr Picioane will walk from Sydney to Melbourne in the inaugural March With Me event to show youth that they are never alone on the journey of mental illness or related hardships, with Mr Donehue alongside for the local leg of the trip.
‘‘I think young people feel like they’re going down the road of depression on their own, but I want to try and break down that barrier so they know that they’re not alone and that there are people there to support them when they are going through those hard times,’’ Mr Donehue said.
‘‘Whether I raise $50 or $500, I’m raising awareness and if I can get one person to talk to somebody, I feel like I’ve done my job because that’s what I want to do, I want to just raise awareness around the community.
‘‘Depression and other related issues are silent killers; people don’t talk to anyone and then it gets to them and eats them up, so I just want to get as many people in the community involved and help as many as we can.’’
Mr Donehue said the walk would be emotional for him as he reflected on his own experience with mental illness.
‘‘It’s got a real purpose and a lot of meaning for me to be walking 126
‘‘I was very lucky to have supportive friends and supportive family to help me get through tough times in my life, and hopefully others can have that as well.’’
Mr Donehue hopes individuals and businesses will get behind the cause and sponsor him on his journey.
‘‘I think this is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in the town to show that they actually care about mental health issues, not just for themselves and their business but for the people they’ve got working for them as well,’’ he said.
Spaces are available for business logos on a T-shirt Mr Donehue will wear during the three-day walk from April 6 to 8.
When teenage sensation Jack Hammond arrived in Tongala with his dairy farming family in January, his name sparked interest in several coaches across the district.
The Yarrawonga Pigeons have secured a vital win over Wangaratta Magpies at JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
On Wednesday, April 22, 11 walkers from Shepparton Adventure Club travelled to Strathmerton then on to Ulupna Island.
Uniformed police are being plucked from the district’s 16-hour stations to work with one-member stations so officers are not patrolling on their own.
A Rochester woman who stole more than $250 worth of money, cigarettes and food from her workplace of four years has been convicted and fined $500, plus court costs.
The final 25 players have been chosen to represent the Goulburn Valley Football League in their quest to regain the number one football ranking in country Victoria.
A 640 000 bird proposal finally gets the green light from Strathbogie Shire Council.
Record cattle prices were recorded at the Finley Saleyards on Friday
People in rural and remote areas are significantly over-represented in the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Barooga will host an information forum on the National Disability Insurance Scheme on Tuesday night.
The Deniliquin Rodeo Arena was in full swing for the recent Deniliquin Classic Barrel Race.
GrainCorp has announced an investment of $50 million to increase oilseed crushing capacity and efficiency at its Numurkah facility in Victoria.
Mark Soyer represented Australia at the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Canada.
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