Aim­ing high for a good cause

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Bri­anna McIl­raith

‘‘I thought Par­itutu was a good one be­cause it’s quite a men­tal bar­rier you have to get over.’’ Sam Mcken­zie

There’s al­ways go­ing to be an­other moun­tain for Sam Mcken­zie to con­quer, but for now she’s con­cen­trat­ing on Par­itutu Rock.

Mcken­zie is aim­ing to climb the New Ply­mouth land­mark 60 times be­tween Oc­to­ber 1 and Novem­ber 1 to raise money for the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion.

It’s a cause she knows well, hav­ing faced de­pres­sion fol­low­ing the death of her part­ner’s father and the up­heaval of mov­ing from Welling­ton to New Ply­mouth.

When asked how many peo­ple were af­fected by metal health in her life she replied, ‘‘too many’’.

‘‘Mainly I’m do­ing this for the peo­ple who I’ve lost in my life to sui­cide. This year alone I’ve lost three peo­ple that are quite close to me to sui­cide.

‘‘The main thing for me is raising aware­ness and get­ting peo­ple to talk.’’

With just un­der 20 climbs in the first 10 days, she ad­mits she had to break through a men­tal bar­rier her­self.

‘‘I thought Par­itutu was a good one be­cause it’s quite a men­tal bar­rier you have to get over.

‘‘It’s a bit of a chal­lenge for me per­son­ally, it’s quite a height thing.’’

It now only takes her five min­utes to climb to the top, pow­er­ing up with mu­sic play­ing to help push her on.

Do­ing 60 climbs means that she needs to do it at least twice a day – fit­ting it around her study, work and so­cial life.

In less than two weeks Mcken­zie has al­ready raised nearly $800 of her $1,000 target and she is hop­ing to ex­tend it to $2,000.

The Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion has also of­fered sup­port to Mcken­zie, some­thing she wasn’t ex­pect­ing.

‘‘I ac­tu­ally got a call from the Men­tal Health Foun­da­tion yes­ter­day and they were like, if you’ve got any men­tal blocks or just feel­ing down about your­self, def­i­nitely give us a call,’’ she said.

‘‘I didn’t even think about that.’’ McKen­zie hopes that more peo­ple reach out for help when they are strug­gling. ‘‘If you’re feel­ing down or think some­one might be down then they should def­i­nitely shout out for help.’’

To sup­port Mcken­zie do­nate at events.men­tal­health.org.nz/ fundrais­ers/sam­myemma/the-climb--par­itutu-rock

ANDY JACK­SON/STUFF

Sam Mcken­zie is aim­ing to climb the New Ply­mouth land­mark 60 times be­tween Oc­to­ber 1 and Novem­ber 1.

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