Geelong Advertiser

LONG WALK TOWARDS BETTER UNDERSTAND­ING

- TAMARA MCDONALD

MOTHER-daughter duo Andrea and Tammy Vos never imagined the challenges they would face supporting a family member struggling with mental health issues.

A close-knit family running their own business while heavily involved in local sport and community events, the clan was the picture-perfect unit.

But when a family member opened up about struggling with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, their world was transforme­d into caring for, supporting and keeping them safe.

Through years of providing care, Highton resident Andrea and Hamlyn Heights’ Tammy learned a lot about the support services that were available for people suffering with poor mental health.

While they found many services available to support their family member, they discovered a lack of services available to support caregivers.

Andrea and Tammy came up with the idea to hold a charity walk to raise awareness for the support people — unsung heroes who care for people suffering with mental health issues.

“I am hopeful that we can start a conversati­on around the support people and provide some guidance and understand­ing on how to deal with their own emotions,” Tammy said.

The pair wanted to show the struggles, strength, determinat­ion and effort that it takes to live with a mental illness, and to care for someone with a mental illness.

They decided to create the You

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