A GOLD Coast man who has been taking part in a gruelling physical endurance challenge each week throughout 2014 to raise awareness of depression and anxiety, and funds for beyondblue, has reached his final few events.
He’s completed 47 events and has five to go. Gym owner Brendon Martin, 38, has taken part in events across Australia this year, including a 12-hour dusk to dawn mountain-bike ride in Tamworth NSW and a 12KM foot-race in Adelaide’s Caudo Vineyards with more than 40 obstacles.
He has raised more than $4000 for beyondblue during his challenge, named 52 for Blue, and is still hoping to reach $52,000 by the end of his 52nd and final event on December 28.
Brendon said he feels strongly about supporting beyondblue as he knows how heartbreaking it is to watch someone close struggle with depression or anxiety.
“My wife experienced postnatal depression after the birth of our second child, and it was a really difficult few years. I’m so glad that by reaching out for support she was able to begin a long journey of recovery and take back control of her life,” he said.
“Regular physical activity has been a major part of her recovery, and helps us both maintain our mental health on a day-to-day basis. For this reason, I felt compelled to do something physical to support beyondblue and promote keeping active.”
CEO Georgie Harman said beyondblue is grateful to Brendon for taking on a massive challenge to support its work.
“For most of us, completing one endurance event in a year, such as a marathon, would be a major accomplishment. To do one every week for a year is nothing short of remarkable,” she said.
“At least one in seven women will experience postnatal depression, and anxiety conditions are thought to be at least as common as depression during this time.
“By speaking openly about anxiety and depression, particularly postnatal depression and how it affects families, Brendon has been helping to break down the stigma surrounding these conditions, which stops many people from taking action when they are struggling.
“We wish Brendon the very best for the remaining weeks of 52 for Blue and hope he achieves his goal and takes a well-earned rest.”
Brendon’s remaining events will include a 50KM Ultramarathon from Kurrawa to Duranbah near the Gold Coast on Sunday December 14. Other events will be confirmed closer to the day, depending on his recovery each week.
“I’ve been very humbled by the support I’ve received from my community and have often been lucky enough to have family members and friends join me for events,” Brendon said.
“I am proud to be supporting beyondblue and look forward to pushing myself during the last few weeks of the challenge.”
Trained mental health professionals are available at the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat or email responses.