Finish line in sight for 6000km suicide prevention walk
Lifeline Australia is spurring on 22-year-old Tim Shmigel this week as he approaches the end of his 6000km walk from the bottom to the top of Australia in the name of suicide prevention.
Lifeline Australia Chairman John Brogden said the impact of Tim’s campaign, Everyday Steps, would go beyond the impressive $35,000 that has already been raised for the national charity’s crisis support and suicide prevention services.
“In walking from Wilsons Promontory to Cape York Peninsula – where he is scheduled to arrive on Thursday – Tim has inspired countless Australians since setting out on 1 March 2015,” Mr Brogden said.
“Tim’s journey has highlighted the prevalence of suicide in Australia and the ‘everyday steps’ that we can all take to support each other. It’s important for people thinking about ending their own life to understand that they are not alone, and help is available.”
Having made attempts to end his own life as a teenager, Tim has been driven by the need to encourage people to talk about suicide and reach out to others when they need help.
Mr Brogden, who has known Tim’s father for 25 years, said that Everyday Steps would go a long way to ensuring Lifeline’s lifesaving services would be there for more Australians in their time of need.
"Suicide is the leading cause of death for adults aged between 15 and 44, and Lifeline answers about 2200 crisis calls – one every 33 seconds – each day,” Mr Brogden said.
"Fortunately, there are thousands of people like Tim who can talk personally about coming through the experience and, as Tim says, 'keep walking as the shadows move overhead'.
Tim hopes his walk helps people that are thinking about suicide, by encouraging them to talk openly and understand that things do get better and there is always hope. Over the past few months, the trek has taken Tim along the Alps track, the Bicentennial Trail and other connecting tracks.
To support Tim and raise funds for Lifeline, click here.
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.