Mental health. It’s a topic that has been gaining traction over the past few years yet is still quite taboo. The stigma surrounding the matter means those suffering tend to withhold their feelings which then leads them on a lonely journey.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, nine Australians die from suicide every day while one in seven will experience depression in their lifetime with young Australians more likely to suffer than any other age group.
South Australian not-for-profit organisation, Breakthrough Mental Health Foundation, has been helping to tackle this staggering statistic by raising money to support groundbreaking research in the mental health field with their ongoing fundraising efforts. Its annual ‘Breakthrough Larapinta Challenge’ invites every day Aussies to jump on board and tackle the daunting hike to raise awareness and money for the foundation.
Located in the heart of Central Australia, the Larapinta Trail is 230km of red, dirt tracks that winds through the West MacDonnell Ranges and will span over seven days.
Largs Bay local Leesa Scanlan, unfortunately, joined the distressing statistic 16 years ago and is now joining Break Through on the Larapinta Challenge in June.
Diagnosed with depression at age 17, Leesa spent the better part of her final years in high school battling with her own mind.
“I was unable to control my thoughts,” she says. “The idea of leaving the house was incredibly overwhelming and when it got to be too much I turned to self-harm.”
Sadly, Leesa isn’t alone in her suffering and it was this that drove her to become a voice for those who couldn’t find theirs.
“No one was talking about mental health, no one was admitting they had a diagnosis and the
stigma was rife. I felt immensely isolated and like no one could ever understand me.
“I decided that I wanted to create a platform for people to share their own stories about
mental health and to encourage the conversation.”
And so High Tide, Low Tide was born. Launching on June 1st, Leesa’s very own podcast will serve as a space for safe conversation around the struggles of living with mental health issues like depression and anxiety and sharing experiences to create community and let those suffering know they’re not alone.
On top of this, you can join Leesa and the Breakthrough Mental Health Foundation at The Prince Albert Hotel on June 4th for Mix-Tape Bingo! All you gotta do is hear the song, and dob the bingo ticket and you can win some awesome prizes all while supporting a great cause. We’re assured there will be plenty of dancing, singing and good times. For more info, visit the event here.
Leesa’s story is one of hope and encouragement and serves as a reminder that when times are
tough, you’re not alone and with the amazing work the Breakthrough Foundation is doing, its
You can follow Leesa’s journey on Instagram and her podcast, High Tide Low Tide, launches on June 1st.
If you’d like to support Leesa on her Larapinta journey and help raise money for the cause, you can donate here.
If you or someone you know is struggling, visit Beyond Blue or call 1300 22 4636.