Incredibly, this local event has raised more than $50,000 for mental illness research over the years and despite the challenges of the past twelve months has grown into a national series with 15 Rotary District clubs around the country now confirmed to host a walk with Australian Rotary Health (ARH.)
The original "WALK FOR MENTAL HEALTH" format was the brainchild of passionate mental health advocate and Sunshine Coast local Vicki Stewart, a Past President and long-time member of the Rotary Club of Mooloolaba.
Vicki wanted to raise funds for mental illness research recognising the vital role it plays in understanding and treating complex mental health issues in our community. Vicki believes that we all need to work hard at breaking down the barriers around mental illness so that people will be more comfortable discussing it and seeking help for their mental health problems.
The walk and talk format is deliberately not a race, but an opportunity to get locals together to raise awareness of the serious mental health issues we face in all areas of our communities, schools, homes, and workplaces.
ARH is a national, not-for-profit organisation that funds health research and provides community education about health issues. The organisation supports work on a broad range of health problems but specialises in mental health. They are one of the largest independent funders of mental illness research over the past two decades in Australia. Funding more than $40 million in projects, ARH funded research has played a founding role in establishing vital programs such as teen Mental health First Aid (tMHFA) and Cool Kids. As the sole beneficiary, 100% of funds raised from the LIFT THE LID WALKS will support vital Australian Rotary Health research,
Australian Rotary Health CEO, Joy Gillett OAM, said, "this is a great initiative that originated in Mooloolaba. It gives the opportunity for every Rotary Club in Australia to host a community walk - to create awareness of mental health, to support Australian Rotary Health, and to raise much-needed funds for research."
The 8km LIFT THE LID WALK commences at 8 am from the Mooloolaba Surf Club and heads to the Maroochydore Surf Club and back. Walkers are welcome to turn around at the Alex Surf Club, halfway, and complete a 4km journey if they prefer. The entry fee is $30, and early bird entries before October 15th include a free t-shirt, with kids 15 and under walking free and dogs most welcome!
"Naturally we've had to make a few changes again this year to ensure we deliver a COVID safe event for our community, but our spirit will be as strong as ever, and early sponsorship support from our local business community has been overwhelming. Participant numbers and safe plans will all be closely managed so you need to get in early to secure your spot, but we CAN do this, said " Vicki Stewart.
As part of the national format confirmed locations for Queensland include Kippa Ring-North Lakes & Pine Rivers and Bribie Island in October, with Woolloongabba and Mackay dates still to be announced. There will also be a virtual format option in states that are in lockdown at present.
Events will be supported again by integral media partners including Channel 7 and other local media outlets with local sponsors from the business community making a significant contribution again also. On the day will feature local profile ambassadors, MC, music and exhibitors to help bring it all to life.
To find out more about how you can get involved and register for the Mooloolaba Lift the Lid Walk or an event near you, visit www.liftthelidwalk.com.au
For more information on Australian Rotary Health, visit https://australianrotaryhealth.org.au/
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