Walking to save lives and beat the black dog this May

Throughout the month of May Sam and Bess who are pictured here at Point Perry will be walking and fundraising for Lifeline and raising awareness about mental health. You can keep updated on their efforts and donate to their cause via scanning the QR code. Photo: Contributed  

EACH month, approximately 260 Australian lives are lost to suicide and this tragedy does not discriminate with young, old, men, and women alike affected. In an effort to raise awareness and funds, local couple Sam and Bess Jackson are walking 260km to raise funds for Lifeline Queensland throughout the month of May.  

The number 13 11 14 which is quoted when tragedy strikes is the Lifeline number, and the organisation provides a 24-hour phone line support for people in times of crisis. The Lifeline phones are staffed by volunteers and like all volunteer organisations, funds are always desperately needed.   Funds raised during the month of May walk will enable more volunteers to be trained up, which means that Australians will always have someone available to listen when needed.  

Sam and Bess know how important it is to have someone to talk to. Working as a carpenter, Sam sees firsthand the mental health impacts of working in construction. The construction industry has some of the highest suicide rates and Sam is working to break down the stigma of seeking help.  

“It’s ok to not be ok.  

“You don’t always need to know the answer – just know that there is always someone who cares about you”.  

Bess works in the mental health field and is completing a PhD in suicide prevention and for Bess, the topic is personal after nearly losing a family member to suicide. “Mental health does not discriminate, and it can affect anyone,” Bess said.   

“It is so important to look after yourself, your friends, colleagues, mates, and strangers.” 

This month Sam and Bess will be clocking up their kilometres on their sunrise walks through Coolum and are asking people to stop and say hello if they are spotted.  The community can support their cause by scanning the QR code and giving a tax-deductible donation to Lifeline. Your support will ensure more Aussies can get critical help when they need it most.  

If this story has raised any concerns for yourself or someone you know, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.  

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