From 14 to 28 October 2016, a group of mates will walk from Gold Coast to Sydney, covering a distance of 916 kilometres in two weeks, to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention.
Each member of the Walk It Off team has their own personal lived experience of suicide. They have all lost people close to them to suicide. Having seen the loss of friends in their community, the team wanted to do something to make a difference. The team will walk from Gold Coast on 14 October and arrive in Sydney on 28 October 2016.
To find out more about Walk It Off, to make a donation or to see the walking schedule, please visit, https://www.everydayhero.com.au/event/walkitoff.
The man behind Walk It Off is Ben Higgs, a passionate community advocate and ambassador for Suicide Prevention Australia. Ben is the Founder of the Rise Foundation and has been an active fundraiser for Suicide Prevention Australia through the Plebs, Pros and Personalities 24-hour treadmill run since 2014.
“The idea for Walk It Off came quite naturally while managing my own self-care. On nights when I have felt really ordinary and flat, I have found that physical activity has helped me to overcome negative thoughts,” says Ben Higgs.
“There have been many nights when I have gone for long walks. On one particular night, I reached out to a mate and said, I needed to go for a walk to clear my head and to my surprise he said he’d join me. So there we were, two blokes at 3am walking through the streets, talking and opening up.”
Ben will be accompanied by five of his mates, including NRL legend, Darren Brown, former professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Canterbury Bulldogs and Penrith Panthers, Jason Webb, David Mcelhinney, Shawn Howell and Steve Heighesy.
“The reasons why people take their lives is complicated, but what we do know is that community and connectedness is a protective factor,” said Sue Murray, Chief Executive of SPA.
“The strength, resilience and determination shown by this team is nothing short of inspiring. These men are showing us all that we are stronger together. We can all play our part in encouraging communities to learn how to get help and give help,” said Ms Murray.
Community members in and around the scheduled stops are encouraged to greet the team and welcome them to their community.