On track for bet­ter men­tal health

Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Opinion -

CON­STRUC­TION work­ers are twice as likely to com­mit sui­cide, ac­cord­ing to char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion Mates in Con­struc­tion.

The group formed in 2008 to tackle the alarm­ing rates of sui­cide and de­pres­sion among the one mil­lion con­struc­tion work­ers in the coun­try.

South Perth plumber Sean Richard­son knows all too well about de­pres­sion af­ter los­ing his mother to can­cer last year.

“For me it was the re­al­i­sa­tion that you never know when you could be af­fected by de­pres­sion,” he said.

“Recog­nis­ing you have de­pres­sion and ac­cept­ing that it was OK, and that you didn’t have to keep it to your­self is the key to get­ting rid of the stigma sur­round­ing the ill­ness.”

Mr Richard­son is among a group of plum­bers and elec­tri­cians who tack­led the Kokoda Track last week to raise funds and aware­ness about de­pres­sion and sui­cide.

The group has so far raised more than $69,000 in ad­di­tion to the $125,000 they raised last year for be­yond­blue in a bid to raise aware­ness, em­pa­thy and sup­port for those suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion.

Mr Richard­son said he was pleased to have sur­passed his tar­get of $5000.

Peo­ple wish­ing to sup­port to him can do­nate at www.be­yond­blue­fundrais­ing.org.au/event/koko­dac hal­lenge un­til the end of next month.

Sean Richard­son walked the Kokoda Track to raise aware­ness about de­pres­sion.

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