SUICIDE is the leading cause of death in Australians aged 15 to 49.
Nic Pestalozzi has not had a family member or friend take their own life.
“I have a friend from interstate who knows three people, all males, who have committed suicide in the last seven years.”
Mr Pestalozzi, co-founder and marketing director at Fishbowl, a Japanese-inspired salad fast-food chain, talks about the driver for Fishbowl’s Virtual 5K Run on World Mental Health Day on Sunday, 10 October.
He explains the Fishbowl team is fundraising for mental fitness charity Gotcha4Life, which aims to reduce suicide rates by delivering programs that foster genuine connections and making sure everyone has a mate who’ll listen.
“We are about people living more positive lifestyles through their diet and activities,” Mr Pestalozzi said.
Fishbowl’s marketing manager Lauren Hurst agrees with Mr Pestalozzi, saying they came up with the idea to support Gotcha4Life because Fishbowls fitness initiative aligned with their focus on mental fitness.
“We want to get our customers, friends and families talking and moving,” Lauren said.
Giving away a free bowl to everyone who registers and completes the five kilometres is an added incentive to encourage involvement
“The more organisations like us talk about mental fitness, the more it becomes normalised,” Mr Pestalozzi added.
“Five years ago, I think it would have been a very uncomfortable topic to bring up with a friend.
“It makes it more mainstream to talk about it.”
Gus Worland, the founder of Gotcha4Life, said their mission is for everyone to have a Gotcha4Life Mate.
“A go-to person you can rely on and talk to about anything when times are tough, so no one has to worry alone,” he said.
Mr Worland welcomes Fishbowl’s Run 5K on World Mental Health Day as a perfect collaboration with Gotcha4Life.
“We aim to make the conversation about mental fitness an everyday occurrence, not just on a special month or day [of awareness].”
Gotcha4Life wants to put action behind the awareness, which takes time and education.
The mental fitness charity, works to end suicide by delivering programs that create meaningful mateship, build emotional muscle, and strengthen social connection in local communities.
It takes a village to raise a human being is its version of ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’
Mr Worland said it’s always better to have a village or a tribe around making sure relationships are deeper connected and make us feel safe.
“We’ve been trying to live up to a stereotype for too long,” he said.
“We’ve been taught to man up and shut up; it’s now man up speak up.
“We need to chuck away perfect and just do the best we can.”
Gotcha4Life will use the money raised by the Fishbowl 5K Run to continue running workshops delivered by expert facilitators at Tomorrow Man and Tomorrow Woman to break down stereotypes and provide the tools to build emotional muscle and resilience for a mentally fitter life.
If you are concerned about yourself or someone you care about, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Registration information for the Fishbowl 5K Run on Sunday, 10 October can be found here www.eventbrite.com/e/5km-for-mental-health-registration-170234940289
Carol Saffer is an award-winning journalist enthusiastic about creating copy that engages audiences. She is curious by nature, possesses a growth mindset and thrives on new and unusual challenges.
Carol has experience as a reporter for various regional Victorian newspapers and writing for Business Day in The Age. Her previous career was in the fashion industry, and she holds post-graduate degrees in business and journalism.