Sisters trek for mental health

October 29, 2020 BY

Leanne and Melissa Tinney will walk from Torquay to Aireys Inlet to raise money for Beyond Blue.

MELISSA and Leanne Tinney will trek from Torquay to Aireys Inlet tomorrow (Friday, October 30) for mental health and wellbeing support organisation Beyond Blue.

Melissa and Heather will complete the walk as part of the Melbourne Coastrek.

Before COVID-19, the Coastrek was going to be held at the Mornington Peninsula. Melissa and Leanne had planned to complete their walk with their sister, Liz Tinney, and sister-in-law Karen Jacobsen.

However, the pandemic forced the walk to go virtual, and with Liz residing in Sydney and Karen in Frankston, there was little chance of them being able to complete the trek together.

Nevertheless, Melissa said the four of them were still eager to participate.

“We originally all planned to attend the walk that was going to be in Melbourne, but we’re now working out our own tracks to do it.

“Leanne and I on the Surf Coast are going to do the Surf Coast Trail, all 30 kilometres of it.”

Melissa said the rescheduling and reformatting of the event had some unexpected benefits.

“It was originally set to be in May, so all four of us started training in March, and now we’re still training. So, it’s actually been really good to keep us motivated.

“We’ve all said it’s been very useful to help us stay socially connected when we’re walking, because it’s the one thing you have been able to do with someone else all through COVID, and it’s also kept us getting out into the fresh air and having the purpose to do that walking.”

Melissa said supporting mental health was something deeply important to all the members of the team.

“We all have lived experience of mental health issues with family members, particularly for three of us, we lost our brother to suicide many years ago, so we’re very passionate about mental health.

“Mental health is everybody’s business and mental illness can be prevented. We need to have support services adequately funded to make sure they are available and visible to prevent the devastation of mental health challenges.”

Melissa and the rest of the team have been going to great lengths to raise funds for the walk.

“One part of it has just been sending the links to all of our friends, family, people at work, and we’ve had quite a lot of responses to that,” she said.

“I also sold vegetables from my garden at work and that brought in quite a bit, we also had a raffle at a home concert.”

The team has already raised more than $2,000.

To support the team’s efforts head to coastrek.com.au/fundraisers/melissatinney/melbourne-30km.