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.
Neighbourhood Watch Week will start with a sizzle — a sausage sizzle to be precise — at Sevens Creek Dve in Kialla.
Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and other emergency services are preparing for the next round of wild weather in the north-east.
It was clear blue skies last Tuesday for the official launch of the Gargarro (pronounced Ga-gar-ro) Botanic Gardens in Girgarre.
SNAKES will be coming out of hiding as the weather warms up.
KATH Bubb has been recognised for 50 years of service with the Ballendella Red Cross.
IT EXPERTISE in Kyabram has received recognition after Advance Computing won a Microsoft Australia Partner Award in the excellence in regional area customer category.
Seymour A and B-grade in season decider
Extensive rainfall in the Southern Riverina is having a negative impact on farming.
McIvor Creek – in and around Heathcote – has gone over its banks with all our recent rain, flooding streets and causing closures and detours.
Yarroweyah's Katie Anderson will be heading to Wisconsin in the United States after winning the Dairy Youth Travel Scholarship.
After a 30-year career as an accountant in Deniliquin, Peter Skipworth officially retires today.
Tuesday, August 16
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