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.
Former councillor Chris Hazelman has been elected as seventh councillor for Greater Shepparton.
Police are currently at the scene of a double fatal collision involving two cars in at the Cahill Road, Gilmore Street and Woods Road intersection in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
CAMPASPE Shire’s animal ranger is hunting two dogs after they attacked and killed a dog walking with its owner.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
About 7600 residents served by Goulburn Valley Water are affected by a boil-water advisory.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
The second Koonoomoo Pickers and Packers Charity Ball came to town on the weekend, and was bigger and better than ever.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The G-MW Murray gravity irrigation system has received 35 per cent and the Goulburn system 42 per cent of allocation from July 1.
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