Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has thrown his support behind a 22 year old psychologist who is running 5000km from Canberra to Cape York to raise awareness and money for mental health.
Mr Pitt said Brad Carron-Arthur commenced his run on January 1 and arrived in Cairns today.
“He set a target of $20,000 and so far has raised over $12,000 with proceeds going to the Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research (AFFIRM),” Mr Pitt said.
“What makes this run quite amazing is that he is doing it completely unassisted with no support vehicle.”
As the former Minister for Mental Health in Queensland, Mr Pitt said he is deeply aware of issues facing people experiencing mental ill-health.
“You only have to look at the statistics: One in five Queenslanders will experience mental health issues every year. Over a lifetime, it’s nearly one in every two people. That’s your friends, your family, your workmates. It touches nearly every person in our community,” Mr Pitt said.
“I was honoured to be the inaugural Minister for Mental Health in Queensland and proud of Labor’s achievements in this area, including the blueprint for a Mental Health Commission, the ‘ChangeOurMinds’ anti-stigma campaign, the $11 million partnership with the federal government to support people in areas affected by natural disasters, and the first comprehensive community mental health plan ‘Supporting Recovery’ in Australia.
“My aim continues to be a person-centred and recovery oriented mental health system that reduces the need for people to end up in a clinical setting and allow them stay in the community where they’re most comfortable.”
Mr Carron-Arthur said that with a degree in psychology he is very aware of the reality of mental health issues in Australia.
“This reality is that one in five Australians suffers a mental illness in any given year,” Mr Carron-Arthur said.
“This is alarming and what is more so is the fact that around 60% suffer in silence, never seeking help.
“There is a stigma associated with mental illness which discourages people from seeking help from the community and those immediately around them.
“Indeed 21 percent of Australian adults are unwilling to work closely with an individual with depression, 30 percent of Australians would not vote for a Politician with depression, and 25 percent believe one can ‘snap out of’ depression.
“In reality, in order to overcome mental illness, like any other illness, these people need the acceptance and support of their family, friends and the community at large.
“I am hoping to raise awareness of these issues and also to raise funds for AFFIRM to support mental health research.”
To follow progress of the run go to www.bradrunsnorth.com
To make a donation visit www.everydayhero.com.au/bradrunsnorth