My walk is dedicated to the memory of Jake Wertenbach
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.
These boots were made for walkin’
Our StoryJake 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. 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.
Thank you to my Sponsors
Bob & Dian Day
Vikki And Peter Strickland
Leanne And Terry
Island Equipment & Supply - Amberley Emmett
Alanna & Steven
Lee & Vonny
Reg & Teresa Armstrong