Team effort: Jeremy Molly, Tim McKern, Wallis Collins, Jacob Greenwood, Ryan Walker and David Tuddenham are set to hike to Melbourne to raise money and awareness for mental health. Photo: SUPPLIED

Breaking the stigma one step at a time

May 14, 2021 BY
SIX mates are walking to Melbourne, in the aim of raising awareness for mental health.

Tim McKern, Wallis Collins, Ryan Walker, Jeremy Molloy, Jacob Greenwood, David Tuddenham will all make the 160-kilometre trek on Tuesday, 25 May, which will see them stop at Kyneton and Sunbury.

Mr McKern said the group wanted to do something big to help people doing it tough.

“We wanted to do something pretty extreme to get people talking and show people we walked to Melbourne, we’re going to break our own mental barriers that way,” he said.

“Hopefully we can get some people out there to get some help and have a chat.”

He said they met with VicRoads to help set the route and are hoping to meet people supporting their cause along the walk.

So far, the six Bendigo locals have raised about $20,000 for Suicide Prevention Awareness Network and Let’s Chat, who have backed the group all the way.

“The money we raise for SPAN, they’re going to do lots of sessions with younger adults in schools if they need help,” Mr McKern said.

“Let’s Chat are going to look at buying a coffee van to travel around Victoria and have a chat to people that are having some issues and help break the stigma of mental health.

“They were extremely grateful and offered to help in whatever way they can, and they’ve just been great.”

The group have received tremendous support from the community, and Mr McKern said spreading awareness is their main goal.

“It sort of started from nothing at all and now everyday I’m getting phone calls and messages from people who want to help in any way they can and it’s just getting bigger every day,” he said.

To support Mr McKern and his team of keen walkers, donate to their Go Fund Me at gofund.me/efb7b7c5.