Mental Health gets off to an active start on October 13 with the 7th annual Wellness Walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Wellness Walk starts and finishes at Sydney’s Government House and participants have two options on the day; a 6km walk over the bridge or a more accessible 2km around the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Founder of The Wellness Walk, Larry Smith said: “The Wellness Walk is about fighting stigma around mental health, raising money to support mental health services across NSW, and to bring the community together and start a conversation about serious mental illness. It is the largest mental health awareness event during this month.”
Walking on the day will be Simone Baran, a recent graduate of a Bachelor of Social Science in Criminal Justice and educator with ‘lived experience’ of addiction, schizophrenia, and physical disability.
“She is an example of how, with the right support, treatment and correct medication, anyone can overcome serious mental illness and have a fulfilling and joyful life,” Smith said.
Smith, who is a carer, founded the Wellness Walk after participating in the NAMI Walks over New York’s Brooklyn Bridge in support of mental health and fighting stigma. The NAMI Walk now takes place in more than 80 locations across the US with over 50,000 people participating.
“The act of walking reflects that living with mental illness is a step-by-step, one-step-at-a-time process,” he said.
Participants can choose to fundraise for one of the charity partners that include R U OK? Lifeline and Odyssey House. All money raised by One Door Mental Health will be used towards sustaining mental health programs. There will be live music from Voli K (The Voice) and Dean Ray (The X Factor). Registration is from 8am and the walk starts at 10am. Admission costs are adults $40, concession $25 and family $80.