Beat the Breakdown Walk raises thousands for mental health awareness

Despite trekking through almost 100 kilometres of cold and windy conditions, with feet covered in blisters, a group of friends have raised $14,000 which will go towards depression and suicide prevention in their Shire.

The group of friends walked from Warren to Narromine over two days on the weekend to raise money and awareness for mental health and non-profit organisation ‘Beat the Breakdown’.

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Beat the Breakdown has been spearheaded by Narromine local Billy Browning, who has personally experienced loss due to mental health.

The Browning family were the walkers inspiration in promoting the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing. 

“They have been super supportive,” walker Sarah Press said of the farming family.

Ms Press, along with Eliza Rae, Emma Flinn, Troy Jones and Lottie Rae - all from Narromine and Trangie - smashed out 55kms on Friday day one.

About 15 community members got behind the walkers, either by joining in on the walk, bringing them refreshments or setting up camp for their well deserved break at Trangie on the first night.

Having the community get behind the cause was “the highlight” of the walk, Ms Press said.

“It was lovely having the locals (join in), they’re so passionate,” she said.

“And they were really concerned for our welfare.”

While the walk was a grueling challenge, it has all paid off with everyone in the community talking about the Beat the Breakdown Foundation, Ms Press said. 

An auction, together with the Go Fund Me Page for the Beat the Breakdown Walk, has raised approximately $30,000 in total for the Foundation.

“And money is still trickling in,” Ms Press said.

The Crawford family from Trangie, helped make the trek a safe journey as the walkers escort vehicle.

“They provided us with a laugh and encouragement, we definitely needed them,” Ms Press said of the Crawford’s.

While they’re not sure if it will be a walk or something else, Ms Press said they’re hoping to do another fundraiser in 2019.

“A lot of people are asking if they can do it next year.. there will definitely be something in the pipeline,” Ms Press said.

The last leg of the journey saw the walkers finish up at the Gorillas First grade game against the Parkes Boars on the Saturday. 

As the walkers arrived, the community made a guard of honour.

“The people helped get us through,” Ms Press said.

Eliza, Sarah, Emma, Troy and Lottie wanted to thank the sponsors and supporters for all of their encouragement.

“We’re all still in positive spirits even though it was tough,” Ms Press said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

This story Walkers help break down mental health stigma | Photos, Video first appeared on Western Magazine.