The Gap’s Vasile Brothers Walk For Mental Health Awareness; Reports Show Growing Need for Support Services

Brothers Tudor and Wesley Vasile, both residents of The Gap, suffered a traumatic loss when two of their friends committed suicide. In 2011, while Wesley was in Mexico, his brother told him the tragic news that Christian, their close friend, had committed suicide.

Shortly after that, another friend of theirs, David, also killed himself. Wesley, in particular, seriously thought about why their closest friends seemed to have the need to take their own lives. To Wesley, the grief was very real, so much that a group of people closest to him saw the effects of the deaths on him. To help him cope, they put him in touch with a group of individuals who have had their fair share of experience with suicide.

The Beginning

Photo credit: Walk For Awareness / Facebook

Wesley knew that he had to do something to help people in the same situation deal with it. Along with his brother and the group, they came up with an annual event, the Walk for Awareness, in cooperation with the Mental Awareness Foundation. The idea is that once a year, people can get together to discuss the issues of mental health openly. This was all based on their belief that suicide should be talked about openly, and not whispered about in the shadows or behind closed doors.

This walk is the largest walk that is dedicated to mental health in Australia. Aside from having people come together to spread mental health awareness, it also raises funds for charities working that are working on the front line of mental health issues.


The 2017 Event

Photo credit: Walk For Awareness / Facebook

On the 8th of October at 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Brisbane’s Walk For Awareness will once again take place at Captain Burke Park in Kangaroo Point. This is a chance for the entire community to come together for support and break the silence on mental illness.

Now on its seventh year, over 5,000 participants across the country this year are expected to come together.


Sad Statistics about Suicide

Recent reports have revealed that people using mental health services in the country has become twice as high as the general population. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed 11.4 deaths per 1000 people, compared to 6.1 per 1000 among the general population. It also showed that between August 2011 and September 2012, 153,451 deaths happened in Australia with 49.4% of those people who have sought mental health treatment.

This report has renewed calls from mental health experts to put equal focus on mental and physical wellbeing. This 8km walk around Brisbane aims to help drive home this need for equal focus.

Even working professionals who lead busy lives can fall victim to depression and mental health issues. In the news recently, five public hospital clinicians working in Brisbane hospitals have reportedly attempted to commit suicide. A survey of 324 doctors at hospitals such as Princess Alexandra, Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee, Logan and Redland has revealed a culture of bullying by senior medical officers that has contributed to mental health issues and stress among these doctors.

Indeed,providing support to anyone suffering from a mental disorder is very important and A Walk for Awareness is ensuring that everyone takes steps in the right direction to do just that.

You can register for the walk here.