SCOTT Harvey wants people to know there is no shame in talking about mental health and suicide.
He was diagnosed with severe dyslexia when he was six years old and has been living with mental health problems for the past 10 years.
Then four weeks ago, his 70-year-old uncle in New Zealand committed suicide.
In a bid to get more people talking about these issues, the Craigie single father has organised Kicking Off Your Shoes For Suicide.
As part of this Sunday’s Changing Your Tune event at the Esplanade Youth Plaza in Fremantle, Mr Harvey will create a visual awareness of the 2864 people who committed suicide in Australia in 2014.
One pair of shoes will represent one person who took their own life that year.
“I want people to walk through and say ‘wow, what’s this about’,” the Seeable Expressions founder said.
“I want to get people talking.
“Even if people don’t talk about it there, it could come up when people are driving home; it is to spark conversation.
If one person goes up to a mental health service provider and asks for help because of this, then that could save a life.
“Suicide touches every age, every culture; it’s probably the one thing that doesn’t discriminate because it’s the person’s choice.”
Changing Your Tune, which runs from 10am to 4pm, will feature a range of mental health services available in Perth.
“This is for communities to get together to be able to talk about issues, suicide and mental health, and empower themselves with more knowledge from the community services available,” Mr Harvey said.
“One woman I have met, who has four kids under 10, has donated her husband’s shoes.
“This will be their way of saying goodbye to their dad.
“At the end of the event, I will give all the shoes to community services to give to the homeless in Perth, struggling families and also people who may not be able to afford a pair of shoes who may have an upcoming interview for a job or a course.”
Mr Harvey is still looking for donations of shoes.
Call 0406 044 492 or drop them off at 49 Seaflower Crescent, Craigie.
Donations for pamphlets and signage are also welcome here.
Changing Your Tune will also feature live bands and showcase cabaret, burlesque, yoga, henna, skateboarding and parkour.
If you, or anyone you know, needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.