Sailors give lifeline to prevent suicide in Western Australia

Published on LEUT Kara Wansbury (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (photographer)

Location(s): Perth, WA

Members from HMAS Toowoomba and HMAS Stirling participate in the HBF Run for a Reason, to raise funds and awareness for the charity Lifeline WA. (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Members from HMAS Toowoomba and HMAS Stirling participate in the HBF Run for a Reason, to raise funds and awareness for the charity Lifeline WA.

Fleet Base West personnel sweated it out and provided a lifeline for their favourite charity in Perth, last weekend at the fifth annual HBF Run for a Reason. The 20-strong team walked, ran and even shuffled the 4 and 12 kilometre courses to raise over $3,000 for Lifeline Western Australia.
 
Lieutenant Commander Kelly Haywood, Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year and Lifeline Ambassador, participated in the event and said she was overwhelmed by the Navy showing.
 
“Last year when I entered teams in the Sydney and Perth City to Surf events, we had half the amount that we did for this years’ HBF Run for a Reason. It is a fantastic effort by all who participated, who all have varying levels of fitness” Lieutenant Commander Haywood said.
 
Navy personnel raised funds for Lifeline WA, a charity close to Lieutenant Commander Haywood’s heart.
 
“I lost my mum to suicide when I was 8 years old. Since then, I have lost my cousin, two close friends and two shipmates to suicide. However unfortunate my history or involvement with suicide has been, I am in a unique position to try and make a difference,” she said.
 
Opening discussions and sharing experiences is an important aspect of Lieutenant Commander Haywood’s role.
 
“By talking about my experiences and fundraising, I hope to raise awareness about depression and anxiety, de-stigmatise mental health issues and try and prevent suicide,” she said.
 
And as she crossed the finish line her thoughts were already focused on the next one.
 
“Next year I hope the numbers keep increasing so we can get an even stronger message out,” she said.
 
It costs Lifeline WA $40 for every crisis call received through 13 11 14 and $10 per Online Crisis Chat, so every dollar raised helps to save lives. Through fundraising efforts, Lifeline WA will be able to educate more Crisis Supporters, provide further education courses and reach more members of the Western Australian community.