One Door Mental Health is urging all Australians to take steps towards improving mental health outcomes and suicide prevention by registering for its eighth annual Wellness Walk on November 22, 2020.
"This is not just another walk," said Kathi Boorman, CEO of One Door Mental Health. "It is an opportunity for every Australian to unite in their fight for greater awareness, support and care for people experiencing severe and complex mental illness.
"Not only for themselves, but their families, their loved ones and their communities.
"The Wellness Walk this year represents hope that as a nation, we can create a better future for all Australians."
Mental illness does not discriminate and this has never been more apparent than during 2020.
Commonwealth Department of Health figures show that more than one million Australians sought mental health treatment since the coronavirus outbreak began in March, with recent research showing that three quarters of people are struggling with their mental health.
Every day, six men and two women will end their own lives. With the impact of the pandemic, this is anticipated to increase by almost 14 per cent over the next five years, resulting in almost 20,000 deaths by suicide by 2025. These figures cannot continue.
"There is no doubt that we are experiencing a mental health epidemic in Australia," Ms Boorman said. "The sooner we address these figures by changing attitudes and encouraging people to reach out for support, the sooner we can help people living with mental illness to move forward in their recovery journey.
"Our hope is that the Wellness Walk will give people the opportunity to come together, and raise much-needed awareness and support for those experiencing mental illness."
This year's Wellness Walk is going virtual, with people encouraged to register to run or walk 2km or 6km, anytime, anywhere around their communities on November 22.
While people can register any time before the Wellness Walk at wellnesswalk.org.au/register, they are encouraged to do so before November 16 so they can receive a "Wellness Walking Kit", which includes a branded race bib, event T-shirt, the popular Wellness Walk medallion, and giveaways from the sponsors. The cost is $46 for individuals, $80 for two people, or $138 for four people (a discount of $46).
The Wellness Walk is made possible by the generous contributions of its sponsors, Otsuka (gold), Lundbeck (gold) and Janssen (silver). For over 30 years, One Door has designed and delivered expert mental health programs, now including NDIS services. See wellnesswalk.org.au