Ranges Trader Mail – 24/02/17
Posted on March 10th, 2017
This article originally appeared on the Ranges Trader Mail website on February 24, 2017.
Feet moving for mental health
There are many good reasons to walk, including for health and fitness. But Monbulk’s Misa Eng is set to walk from Frankston to Port Melbourne to raise awareness and funds for youth mental health.
On Sunday 5 March, Misa will join over 300 other participants for March With Me – an annual walk that sees participants walk either 116km, 54km or 16km between Portsea and Port Melbourne – to raise awareness and funds for youth mental health foundation Love Me Love You.
In 2016, March With Me raised over $200,000, which helped to deliver nearly 11,000 education experiences to young Australians. Misa said she was inspired to walk this year after finding out about it through another participant Kirsten Van De Hoef, as well as losing family members and her own personal experiences with mental illness.
“I’ve been struggling with mental health issues since I was a child and later found out that I had developed PTSD, social anxiety and depression,” she said.
Initially from Japan, Misa said she and her family had been subjected to social stigma associated with mental health issues.
“There’s a strong social stigma against discussing mental health issues over there,” she said.
“Unfortunately, many people live in denial of their mental illness and they are perceived as simply weak.
“This year, I determined to do everything to overcome my struggle, and I’m very grateful for help and support available for mental illness in Australia.”
Despite the physical challenge the walk may bring, Misa is excited to get involved with a good cause.
“This walk is giving us a chance to help others, as well as helping ourselves and I feel very privileged to be part of it,” she said.
“I also want people who are struggling alone to know that there is hope and that we don’t have to fight it alone, we can walk our journey together.”
Misa has already passed her $300 fund-raising target.
Love Me Love You hopes to raise $300,000 for March With Me 2017, which will help the foundation to facilitate mental health education, presentations and well-being workshops to schools and sporting clubs around Australia.
If you would like to donate to Misa and Love Me Love You, please visit https://marchwithme2017.everydayhero.com/au/misa.