ARMADALE builders Mick Daly and Rob Shaw, and his daughter Narissah, will take part in a Kokoda Track walk soon to raise awareness about suicide in the construction industry.
The trio will join another 43 Australians enduring seven days of traversing up and down steep mountain peaks about 2000m above sea level, being constantly wet while swatting away mosquitoes and leeches, to raise awareness about suicide prevention for the Mates in Construction and the WA Master Builders organisations.
They have been getting fit by hiking in the Wungong National Park and other parks over recent weeks to participate in the 96km jungle trek from September 3-9, finishing at Port Moresby.
Mr Shaw said they decided to commit to the walk after hearing a talk about suicide in the industry last year.
They started training 12 weeks ago, and have worked up to covering 15km every Sunday, carrying 15kg on their backs.
“And we’ve also been doing our own fitness routines during the week,” he said.
“The emotional part will be doing the same thing day after day when you are soaked through,” he said.
“Some people say you are just wet for the whole trip and then there are the mosquitoes and leeches.”
Mr Shaw said the Armadale group has so far raised $23,000 and was aiming for $25,000 or more.
He said he wanted to do the trek to contribute to the community and help educate |people about suicide.
“We need to understand how big a problem we have with this silent killer which doesn’t just affect construction, it affects the whole of society,” he said. “I hope to get out of it that we can make a difference and understand what we can all do to help, especially in construction – guys who don’t talk a lot.”
Mates In Construction is a non-profit organisation formed to reduce the level of suicide and improve the mental health and wellbeing of construction workers and their families.
Chief executive officer of the organisation Jorgen Gullestrup said it was based on the simple idea that suicide was everyone’s business,” .
To contribute to the cause, visit http://mateskokoda2016 .gofundraise.com.au/
For crisis or suicide prevention support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.