Step­ping out for men­tal health

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Education Week - BY LOTTE REITER

Hor­sham’s An­drew Sos­theim is lac­ing up his train­ers to help a men­tal­health fundraiser get off to a run­ning start.

Mr Sos­theim is pre­par­ing to run 180-kilo­me­tres along­side mate Jor­dan Grooby, sup­port­ing his ‘Beyond the Bor­der’ cam­paign.

The trek, from Stawell to Kaniva in three days next month, is one leg of Mr Grooby’s cam­paign – a 726-kilo­me­tre run from Melbourne Cricket Ground to Ade­laide Oval be­tween June 18 and 30.

The event will help raise aware­ness and money for be­yond­blue sup­port ser­vices, men­tal health pro­grams and re­sources.

Mr Sos­theim said ac­cess to men­tal-health re­sources and sup­port was a huge is­sue, par­tic­u­larly for peo­ple in the Wim­mera.

He said ‘tag­ging along’ with Mr Grooby on his Wim­mera leg was both an act of mate­ship and a call for in­creased men­tal­health aware­ness.

“The sup­port sys­tem for peo­ple strug­gling with men­tal­health is­sues in the Wim­mera is some­thing we re­ally need to tar­get,” he said.

“You see it with the Naked Farmer, with all the farm­ers and peo­ple in the coun­try af­fected by drought and men­tal health. And I’ve had fam­ily and friends who have dealt with this be­fore, Jor­dan too.

“This is a cause that is pretty close to our hearts.

“The more we can do to raise aware­ness the bet­ter.”

Both men said they started run­ning for the phys­i­cal, men­tal and so­cial ben­e­fits, com­plet­ing sev­eral marathons be­tween them.

How­ever, for Mr Grooby, his

great­est pas­sion was plagued by a strug­gle with anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion in early 2018.

He said feel­ing down and un­like him­self led him to be­yond­blue, which be­came a life-sav­ing re­source.

“Run­ning be­came a chore. I would find any ex­cuse to stay in­doors and not do any­thing,” he said.

“I knew some­thing wasn’t right and I fi­nally ad­mit­ted I needed help and booked an ap­point­ment.

“With­out be­yond­blue I wouldn’t have re­alised what I was think­ing and feel­ing was not nor­mal, and I def­i­nitely wouldn’t have reached out for help.”

Mr Grooby said he hoped Beyond the Bor­der would help start a con­ver­sa­tion, en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to reach out and start their jour­ney to­wards men­tal health.

“Ever since I’ve put this out there, I have had peo­ple get in con­tact with me about de­pres­sion and men­tal health,” he said.

“Men es­pe­cially tend to not want to open up about these top­ics, we try to be tough, it is al­most an im­age thing.

“But you’re stronger talk about it.”

Peo­ple can sup­port Beyond the Bor­der through a Face­book link on the fundrais­ing page.

Peo­ple can visit www. be­yond­blue.org.au or www. life­line.org.au for in­for­ma­tion and sup­port about anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and sui­cide.

Peo­ple in need of cri­sis sup­port and sui­cide preven­tion ser­vices can call Life­line’s 24hour hot­line on 13 11 14. bet­ter if you

RUN­NING FOR A CAUSE: An­drew Sos­theim is pre­par­ing to join his mate Jor­dan Grooby, who is run­ning from Melbourne to Ade­laide in June to raise aware­ness and funds for beyond blue, for a few hun­dred kilo­me­tres on the Wim­mera leg of his jour­ney. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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