Wellness Walk 2017
Laura Knight

Laura Knight 

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My Story

Hey everyone - this year I will be walking in the Wellness Walk to raise awareness for mental health and the people who care for those with mental health issues. I was a young carer for my mother who has schizophrenia, helping my dad to take care of her and helping out around the house doing things most young people wouldn't be doing at that age. Experiencing a mental illness can be quite a damn scary thing and people can often times feel alone. However mental illness is quite common, and those experiencing mental illness and their families should know that they are not alone. Mental illness can also take a toll on families and carers, and most times families and carers go unnoticed in their caring role. I want people to know that having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and people and communities need to be educated and supportive because at times in my community I did not feel like I was supported. I've created this page because I want to make a difference. I'm inspired by the work of Mental Health Carers NSW and wanted to support them by raising money. There are currently 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia, 39% of whom provide more than 40 hours of care a week. Due to the demands of their full time caring role, carers are way. at a high risk for developing mental health issues. Mental illness is a tough time experienced by 1 in 5 Australians, so chances are someone in your life is doing it tough. They may live openly with mental illness or be suffering quietly. For some people it’s one episode. For others it’s a severe and life-long challenge. Although mental illness itself is not life threatening around 15% of people affected by mental illness die by suicide. Currently government funding provides assistance for only half of the support and care needed in the community for mental health services. Open discussion creates understanding for those who suffer. By taking the time for the 5km Wellness Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge, you are taking a stand that helps create space for more understanding. The more we understand the more compassionate we are, the better the lives of all those affected. Please help me help by giving whatever you can using the 'Give Now' button. The more people that know about Mental Health Carers NSW, the greater their impact, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!

About my cause: Mental Health Carers NSW

Mental Health Carers NSW (formerly Arafmi NSW) is a non-government organisation that provides systemic advocacy and support for families, relatives and friends of people who experience mental illness, living in NSW. MHCN reaches out with friendship and understanding to all whose lives are touched by a mental health problem. We aim to maintain and improve existing levels of support services to all relatives and friends of people with a mental illness.

As the peak body for mental health carers in NSW, MHCN is regularly asked to provide feedback on policies and services on behalf of carers to the NSW Ministry of Health and to Local Health Districts. By influencing changes in policy, legislation and service provision, MHCN makes a positive difference to the mental health system for carers. In order to provide accurate and representative feedback, MHCN talks to people with lived carer experience across NSW and facilitate a number of Carer Peak Advisory Committees.

MHCN also operates a telephone Helpline service to provide support and referral to local mental health services for the families and carers of someone with a mental illness, and run a number of education workshops and training courses to upskill carers in their roles and empower them to become champions for mental health reform and participate in systemic processes to ensure the lived experience of mental health carers is included in service reform.

About Wellness Walk 2017

Welcome to the Wellness Walk 2017 The Wellness Walk is a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get out for a walk, fundraise and show their support for the one in four Australians living with mental illness. One Door is proud to host the Wellness Walk for its fifth year and we look forward to welcoming you on the day. There are two walks to choose from; either 2km walk around the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens or a 5km across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and back. After the event you are welcome to enjoy your day in the grounds of Government House at the Wellness Festival. The Wellness Walk for mental illness is a great day out for the whole family. Don’t forget to set up your fundraising page to help support One Door and its partner charities. Come along and show your support for people living with mental illness, their families and carers.

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