Elsie Wertenbach

My walk is dedicated to the memory of Jake Wertenbach our son

Total Raised

$7,939

Total Distance

13km

Distance Goal

310km

Support My Walk for Mental Health Research

Did you know that 1 in 5 people experience symptoms of mental illness each year?

In fact, every day in Australia, 8 people will die by suicide.

Mental illness can be debilitating and can have a devastating impact on not only those living with it, but those around them. 

This October, I’ll be taking part in One Foot Forward to show people living with mental illness that they are not alone.

I'm walking to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute to support crucial mental health research and support services to help Australians impacted by mental illness and suicide.

It would mean so much to me if you'd support my walk this October.

Together, we can create a mentally healthier world, for everyone.

My Updates

So it begins…

Tomorrow is the beginning of our walk for mental health awareness. 310km I have pledged. 10km a day. Or 11 km one day and 9 the next. It might be a few laps around the red dust compound, pounding the walkways between donga’s or a few km on the treadmill in the air con. One way or another I’ll get there. There will be quite a few tunes played and maybe a podcast or two listened to. There will be lots of reminiscing about my beautiful lad. And I reckon he’ll be just over my shoulder sayin ’hurry up ol’ girl’. A part of this walk is about my mental health and trying to come to terms with the loss of my son 2 years ago. 

It’s nearly time.

October is nearly here and it’s time to walk in solidarity with everyone else who is walking for mental health awareness. It’s nice to know that we are in this together. 

R U OK

We celebrated R U OK Day with an Aussie BBQ, and soft drinks donated by Monford Group and some great tips from Sitzlers Matt Shambrook on how to check in on your mates. And I had the opportunity to tell of the struggles our family has faced with a couple of very different mental health issues with very different outcomes.

Tough week but we are OK

Father’s Day and the 2nd anniversary of Jakes passing fell on consecutive days this year. That is so damn tough. But the positive is it wasn’t on the same day like it was last year on the first anniversary. We must keep looking for positives. 
And we are nearing the end of the week and we’ve just had a great BBQ to support RU OK Day here in our remote work camp. And with a 4 and 2 roster we’ve only got 7 days to go 😝🥱💃

RU OK

Monfords sponsored RU OK day in our work camp today. So grateful to them for supporting mental health awareness.

Fathers Day

Fathers Day is probably a timely reminder to check on the men in your life. Dads have had a pivotal role in families over many generations. Maybe it’s outdated today but for many generations dads we’re the revered head of the family. Often the sole bread winner. The one who was looked to to solve everything. You don’t have to have a child to be a father figure. You just need to be a good person with an understanding heart. Wish all those men you meet on Father’s Day a happy day. Everyone deserves kindness.

Moral Support

A big shout out to the Sitzler Team here at camp in Bradshaw and higher up in the company. Not only have many individual staff donated but Sitzler also made a wonderful contribution. But more importantly their kind messages, understanding and awareness of various mental health issues has been fantastic. You all know who you are and I know some of you who hide behind that tougher exterior. Thankyou all for being a little softer inside.

Beautiful Kaylie

This beautiful young mum and daughter of a dear friend suffered silently and left this world way to soon. I walk for you Kaylie and hope to help other young mums like you realize their worth to their family and the world.

Shamrock Civil commitment.

Shamrock whom we look after here in our camp have pledged a donation and support in making our camp a caring home away from home for all who live and work here. I’m so grateful for their support and understanding.

Looking out for our work mates.

We are working in a. remote work/stay camp in the NT. The people we are surrounded by are all far from home, family and friends. They are missing out on celebrating many milestones, happy occasions and sad ones too. One young dad told of missing his kids jujitsu grading. He had videos but he just wished it was on his week off. Another fella just stays in camp and only ventures out for the odd day. One man lost his elderly mother a long way away in Melbourne and he’s not leaving camp yet for a few more days. One gentleman lost his wife and was back at camp as soon as he could. He needed to be busy. Some talk of marriage breakdowns and difficult parent/child relationships. We do our best to lend an ear and offer a kind word or gesture wherever we can. I treat them like I hope others treated my son when he worked in the west and in the cities where he had no family close at hand. Look, listen and learn. Everyone has s story to tell but not everyone has someone to share it with. 

These boots were made for walkin’

Walking and working!

Our Story

Jake was our middle child and only son. No more or less loved than his two sisters. Through those often difficult teenage years Jake was more of a communicator than his sisters. When they would be locked away in their room doing whatever teenagers do, Jake would be out with us asking questions or imparting a pearl of wisdom or a knowledgeable fact he had just learnt. He loved to talk all things Rugby league, politics and world affairs. He would often be bored and lonely but wouldn’t make the move to seek out his mates but wait for them to seek him out.  He traveled young and moved from a small  town country to the city. He became an electrician, worked hard and partied harder. It wasn’t until he came home again that we realized he had some problems. He spoke of anxiety but all we could see was too much drinking and no ‘stop’ button. The chicken or the egg? The anxiety or the alcohol. Jake was a full blown alcoholic by the time we realized we were in serious trouble. We sort many avenues of help for Jake and not enough for ourselves. We read and we researched. We cried and we struggled. It took a long time to realize that addiction is a mental health issue and alcohol one of the worst addictions because it’s legal and it’s everywhere in society. Jake went to numerous re-habs but finally found the help he needed in Professor Jon Currie an addiction specialist and a neurologist. He was our savior. He diagnosed Jake with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. He drank to quieten a busy intelligent mind. He treated him with medication and wise counsel. Jake was coming on in leaps and bounds under his care and guidance. And then Covid19 arrived. Jake was living and working in Melbourne. The first lockdown he found ways to cope. The second lockdown did him in. He’d moved into a place of his own. So he was home alone. Work was cut to 25 percent. The gym and sauna were closed. His appointments with Proff Currie were by tele health. Family lived interstate and borders were closed.  Jake once again turned to alcohol to quieten his busy over active, anxious mind. He overdosed on this substance and lost his life at 32 during a lockdown that was caused by a government bungle with hotel quarantine.  If we can save a life from passing too soon from an invisible  mental health condition then Jake will not be gone in vain.

My Achievements

Thank you to my Sponsors

$1,000

Monford Foundation

$1,000

Shamrock Civil

We are so proud of you Elsie. Your story is one that has touched us all, and we are more than happy to donate to your worthy cause. The whole Shamrock team is cheering you on from across Australia on all of our projects/sites & offices!

$656

Bradshaw Workers Camp

This donation is form the kind and generous workers we look out for in our work place. They are talking to us about mental health and how it has impacted their life in some way , directly and indirectly. They are fast becoming our mates. And mates look out for mates.

$515

Sitzler Pty Ltd

$325

Bob & Dian Day

What a wonderful effort Elsie.

$262.50

Vikki And Peter Strickland

My heart is with yours Elsie, the phrase “ but for the grace of god go I” is ringing in my ears. The ripple affect of addiction affects everyone in some way, at some point in our lives.

$250

Facebook Donation

$200

Jenni Moreing

Loving thoughts are with Elsie, you will make a huge difference in mental health awareness

$157.50

Lana & Danny Jamieson

Go Elsie.. great cause ! loving thoughts are with you all

$147

Anonymous

$147

Denise Green

Love what you are doing Elsie Denise and Col x

$147

Marita Wilson

Great cause Elsie and a wonderful way to pay tribute to your son. Much admiration.

$105

Wendy Newcomen

For Jake.

$105

Charlie Boner

Great cause Elsie , well done.

$105

Elsie Wertenbach

$105

Leanne And Terry

$105

Adele Hodak

Good job Elsie do it for our baby’s 👏👏

$105

Johm Ingram

We will never forget them gone to young.

$100

Facebook Donation

$100

Roy & Elaine Hofen

In Memory of Jake

$100

Pat & Janet

Go Elsie! Thanks for doing all the hard work! You are an inspiration and lots of love xoxx

$100

Island Equipment & Supply - Amberley Emmett

Great cause! Well done ❤️

$100

Stephen And Sherie

💕

$78.75

Alanna & Steven

😘

$68.25

Sam Lucanus

Huge effort for an important cause - Well done Elsie

$68.25

Sam

$68.25

Graham Hastings

A cause very close to my heart x

$68.25

Mark Norris

$68.25

Isobel Ives

The very best of luck on your goal Elsie, such a worthy cause ❤️

$68.25

Kathi Tom Wigg

Continuing jakes empathy dedication to fitness and importantly his memory. You are a team connected by a golden thread 💫

$68.25

Annie Platts

$68.25

Fay & Ray Turnbull

Our hearts are with you Elsie, what a great effort

$68.25

Jason Lesley

With you all the way Elsie this is so close to my heart

$68.25

Jason Miezio

$65

Jenna Price

So proud of you and love and miss you heaps 💙💙 Love always park daughter

$65

Barb Johnston

Fantastic Elsie. Jake would be proud 💙

$52.50

Sellers

$52.50

Julie Pav

Behind you all the way, Elsie! Your personal story is a touching one for us all. 😘

$52.50

Lee & Vonny

Thank you for telling your story and making us and so many more aware. We love you and are so proud of you xx

$52.50

Robyn Mikula

💕

$52.50

Reg & Teresa Armstrong

With you all the way Elsie💔💔🚶🏻‍♀️

$52.50

Anonymous

What a great tribute to those who will be forever young

$50

Facebook Donation

$50

Facebook Donation

$50

Facebook Donation

$50

Ros Kleinitz

In memory of Jake

$50

Patrice Clear

Go Elsie!!

$50

Tanya Ingram

$50

Heidi

Thank you for raising funds for such a worthy cause, the more awareness we can raise the better. Love you. Xx

$42

Emma Dickie

$42

Trent Hutchings

$42

Paul Gurr

Good luck with your goal Elsie, you are an amazing person.

$42

Kathleen Platts

Well done Elsie, such an important cause and for the memory of Jake. I have a niece in Melbourne with social anxiety and she is such a beautiful and intelligent young girl. She needs constant support.

$42

Ian Broome

Our thoughts are with you

$42

Tracey Hampshire

Proud to support you and this much needed cause x

$40

David Dickie

$30

Facebook Donation

$21

Steph Fahey

A big walk for a good cause

$21

Vicki Wait

Good luck Elsie For Jake

$21

Darryl & Jamie

💙

$21

Andrea

I applaud you Elsie xx

$20

Facebook Donation

$20

Facebook Donation