After the loss of a very close friend and work colleague, LCDR Kelly Haywood took time reflect on how deeply affected she and many others had been by depression and suicide.
Donating to beyondblue didn’t seem like enough, so LCDR Haywood created the ‘Choose to Live - Love your Life’ initiative and entered teams in both the Sydney and Perth City2Surf fun runs.
The goal was to raise $10,000 for beyondblue and spread awareness about this most worthwhile cause.
“I am thrilled to say that we raised a grand total of $12,250, with donations coming in from HMAS Warramunga, participants’ family, friends and colleagues,” said LCDR Haywood.
“Incentives were also given to raise money which included me wearing a South Sydney Rabbitohs ball cap for both events for an extra donation,” she said.
“With the support of Navy Health, we wore our ‘Choose to Live – Love you Life’ shirts with pride in both events.
“Sydney turned on a cracking day and while the weather gods weren’t as kind in Perth, a great day was had by all in both events,” she said.
While the team didn’t break any land speed records, their message was clear: supporting beyondblue, preventing suicide and saving lives.
“If one life is saved then we have made a difference, but there is no reason we cannot save 10, 20 or over 100 lives,” said LCDR Haywood, who urges everyone to talk about depression and spread the word of Beyond Blue.
“I hope to keep this initiative active over the ensuing years and if you think you are not capable of participating in a City to Surf, think again,” she said.
“This time last year I could not walk without the assistance of a walking frame, this year I completed 14km in Sydney and ran 12km in Perth – anything is possible.”
LCDR Haywood gave sincere thanks to everyone who participated, donated and spread the word.
“Your kindness and generosity has truly made a difference,” she said.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from anxiety or depression, the Beyond Blue support service provides advice and support via telephone 24/7 (just call 1300 22 4636), daily web chat (between 4pm-10pm) and email (with a response provided within 24 hours). If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, contact 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Look after each other and after yourselves.