After losing a good friend to mental health issues, Henty’s Steven Scott is set to pound the pavement to raise awareness.
Mr Scott’s close friend, David Fogarty took his own life and this triggered his mammoth effort to complete three marathons in three months.
“It’s something that I thought I could do to promote mental health,” Mr Scott said.
“All I’m doing is putting one foot in front of the other and running.”
The main outcome Mr Scott hopes to see from his efforts is a reduction in the stigma which surrounds mental health.
When talking about physical ailments or illness people are generally happy to give and take advice but when it comes to mental health it’s a different story.
Promotions like RUOK Day help on the day but according to Mr Scott the day comes and goes “like Christmas.”
“There’s a bit of build-up but everyone moves on the next day,” he said.
“Look out for the signs (of mental illness in friends) and say something.”
Signs of mental illness can include feeling stressed or anxious, feeling depressed or unhappy, emotional outbursts, sleep problems, weight or appetite changes, quiet or withdrawn, substance abuse, feeling guilty or worthless or changes in behaviour or feelings.
Mr Scott will run a marathon in Wagga in August, Sydney in September and Melbourne in October.
He has run marathons in the past and trains by running around his farm in Henty.
“I’m not young anymore, I’ll try to run but I realise I may not set a time that will get me to Rio,” Mr Scott joked.
His initial fundraising goal was $2500 but that was surpassed in the first two days. He has so far raised $6600 but that isn’t the most important part of his effort.
All money raised goes to the Black Dog Institute. The organisation aims to create mentally healthier lives through innovations in science, medicine, education, public policy and knowledge translation.
To donate go to https://teamblackdog.gofundraise.com.au/page/StevenScott
If you or someone you know needs help contact: Lifeline – 131 114, Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467, Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800 or MensLine Australia – 1300 789 978.