Ironman Mandurah participant breaking down the stigma of mental illness

Steven McGuigan will compete in the Ironman 70.3 Mandurah in November.       Picture: Martin Kennealey                                    www.communitypix.com.au   d441659
Steven McGuigan will compete in the Ironman 70.3 Mandurah in November.       Picture: Martin Kennealey                                    www.communitypix.com.au d441659

QUINNS Rocks resident Steven McGuigan is taking on his biggest physical challenge yet to help people with depression and anxiety.

Having been diagnosed with depression earlier this year, Mr McGuigan wants to raise awareness about mental health conditions and will participate in the Ironman 70.3 Mandurah event on November 8.

“I think many people don’t understand and there is lots of stigma attached to mental illness,” he said.

“I’ve found that setting goals which are both mentally and physically challenging provides a strong focus point for the mind and helps combat the feelings of depression.”

He will do the half ironman, which involves a 1.9km open-water swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.

“I’ve done small triathlons but nothing like this before,” he said.

“I enjoy running, I’ve done the City to Surf and half-marathons before but I wanted something that would give me a challenge.

“I’m not a strong swimmer and I have a fear of deep and open water, so this will be a big challenge for me.”

His training includes cycling from Quinns Rocks to where he works in the city and running laps around Kings Park.

“When you have depression, getting up in the morning can be hard but now I have people supporting me and donating, I know I have to get up, so having that challenge is a really good motivator,” he said.

Mr McGuigan is hoping to raise $500, as well as encouraging people to feel confident in talking about mental health.

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