HE is a familiar face talking sport on Perth television screens each week, but Channel 9 presenter Paddy Sweeney will become the athlete this month in support of an important community service.
Sweeney will tackle the HBF Run for a Reason on May 28 to aid training for the unsung and often unseen heroes at Lifeline WA, a service offering crisis and suicide prevention support to the community’s vulnerable.
The Bicton resident will run the 21km half-marathon to raise $3000, the amount needed to train a phone counsellor.
“Volunteers are everyday people from all walks of life,” he said.
“It’s a massive commitment for them as the line of work is extremely demanding and taxing, especially mentally, on them.
“They don’t know how each call will go and therefore their expert training is crucial.
“My major passion for raising the funds was to put another counsellor on the phones, as I know by doing so it will save lives.”
In 2015, 3027 people – including 2292 men and 735 women – died by suicide.
Sweeney said he was stunned by the figures.
“The facts show Australia’s suicide rate is the highest it’s ever been,” he said.
“More and more Aussies are taking their lives and in the past few years the nation’s suicide toll has regularly been three times that of the road toll.
“Further to this, one West Aussie takes their life every day.”
If you would like to contribute, visit www.hbfrun2017.everydayhero.com/au/Channel9.
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.