Battling for lost mate
AUSTRALIA is losing too many young lives to suicide, it seems no one is immune to the darkness of conditions like depression and anxiety.
The issues surrounding mental health can often be muffled by the impounding pressures of modern life, but one Caloundra resident is giving her voice to the cause.
Amy Ratcliffe lost her beloved and close friend Shane Collins to suicide earlier this year.
She said the shocking news not only left her and fiance Daniel Bennett heartbroken, it rocked residents throughout the entire region.
“He was such a well-loved person in the community,” she said.
“He was the last person you’d expect to make that decision.”
When Mrs Ratcliffe first heard that mental health charity beyondblue would be the sole beneficiary of this year’s Tough Mudder, she instantly signed up.
After losing not only Shane but many others close to her from suicide, she developed a deep passion to elevate the conversation about mental health, particularity in young men.
“That’s what really stimulated us. If someone like Shane was in that situation, then anybody is at risk,” she said.
“You really think could you have done more. Would picking up the phone have made a difference? I think you go through a myriad of emotions, but then for me it comes – what can I do to make a difference? How can I stop this from happening to another person that I love?”
The course was a gruelling 20km stretch of unforgiving high walls, mud crawls and other obstacles, but with the memory of Shane in the back of their brains, the pair said they never lost sight of focus.
“In the lead up to the race we watched the video from Shane’s service to remember why we were doing it,” she said.
They successfully completed the course in just under five hours and while they raised over $3000 that will be directly donated to the charity, the real achievement for the couple was bringing the mental health conversation into the public spotlight.
“If we just create awareness and open the conversation for people to not be afraid to talk about how they are feeling, particularly for young men,” she said.
If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health problems, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
To donate to Amy and Daniel’s cause, visit bit.ly/amytoughmudder.
TOUGH NUTS: Amy Ratcliffe and Daniel Bennett compete at the 2018 Tough Mudder after raising $3000 for beyondblue.