Aiming high for a good cause
‘‘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
Sam Mckenzie is aiming to climb the New Plymouth landmark 60 times between October 1 and November 1.