When I started telling people that I was going to complete two half marathons and a 50 mile hike I was given a look that only meant one thing- why the hell? So here's my little story...
I have seen first hand, in both England and Australia, the damage, deep pain and and long-term stigmatising effects just a simple association with mental health can have. Since living in the Northern Territory I have only had this view reaffirmed through many different experiences in work and in my personal life. I've lived here now for 3 years- Darwin is an isolated Capital city that, due to the vast amount of distance between it and the rest of the Australian major cities, has a significant lack of resources and funding when it comes to Mental Health Advocacy and education. This has an immediate effect on the people that live here, services are limited as are education and awareness campaigns.
Why is it that people are so scared and ashamed to admit that they have a Mental Illness? Attitudes, stigma and a lack of understanding are all contributors. So we need to be proactive- Let's start understanding, talking to friends and generally acknowledging this is an illness that can sometimes happen to the best of us, just like breaking a leg.
It's my passion to contribute significantly to helping the issue at hand. I'm teaming up with two prominent mental health organisations here in the NT, TEAMhealth and The Mental Health Coalition, to raise money for Education, Awareness and Advocacy. Money will be used to lobby local government, raise the profile of these valuable organisations, stimulate awareness and educate through local courses such as Mental Health First Aid.
I know I have friends all over the world, I'm asking you to all come together and help me support this cause that is not only close to my heart but crucial to the local community that I live in.
- Luke Murphy
- Caroline Mcmullen
- Deb Jones
- Lauren Ross
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