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Make a splash to support youth mental health & suicide prevention

Join ReachOut’s Laps for Life that occurs throughout March: lapsforlife.com.au

AUSTRALIAN swimming stars Ian Thorpe AM and Paralympic Games gold medallist Lakeisha Patterson OAM are calling on people across Australia to participate in Laps for Life this March in support of youth mental health service ReachOut.

ReachOut is Australia’s most accessed youth mental health service, with more than 2.8 million Australians turning to the organisation for information and support in 2021.

Mr Ian Thorpe AM, a five-time Olympic champion, is challenging people of all ages and skill levels to jump in from 1 March – 31 March and swim laps at the local pool or beach to raise critical funds and awareness about youth mental health and suicide.

Mr Thorpe AM, who is also a ReachOut Board Member, Patron and Ambassador for Laps for Life, said March is the time to rally together to participate in support of youth mental health and suicide prevention after 454 young people in Australia died by suicide in 2020.

“As the pandemic continues, young people are being disproportionately impacted and can feel stressed about crucial issues such as the impacts of COVID and concerns about the future.

“All funds raised in the month-long swimming challenge will provide vital support for the one in four young people in Australia currently experiencing mental health issues,” Mr Thorpe AM added.

Suicide remains the leading cause of death for young Australians, which means that more young Australians die each year by suicide than in car accidents or cancer.

ReachOut has been championing more comprehensive access to mental health support since they launched their online service more than 20 years ago.

“For those looking to improve their swimming skills or haven’t hit the water in a while, Laps For Life is the perfect opportunity to make a splash,” Mr Thorpe AM said.

“Not only can swimming benefit your health and wellbeing, but you will be helping young people in Australia be happy and well.”

Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut, said that the internet is the first place young people turn to for information and support after friends and family.

“In 2021, ReachOut saw more than 2.8 million people turn to ReachOut’s resources and tools to get help.

“Laps for Life exists so that ReachOut can continue to support young people across Australia regarding mental health and suicide prevention.

“Laps for Life has become an incredible community of swimmers from all areas of Australia.

“We’re so excited to see this year’s participants doing something fantastic for their mental health whilst providing much-needed support for ReachOut,” Mr de Silva said.

Paralympian Lakeisha ‘Lucky’ Patterson is another gold medalist taking part in this year’s event.

She most recently won the S9 400m freestyle swim at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games and will participate in Laps for Life for the second time.

“Suicide remains the leading cause of death for young people, and there has never been a more crucial
time to support the mental health of young people in Australia,” Lakeisha Patterson OAM, and Ambassador for Laps for Life, said.

“I know from my own experience that swimming can be great for general wellbeing and mental health.

“I am thrilled to be one of the thousands of people in Australia who will be swimming to save lives this March,” Ms Patterson OAM said.

Laps for Life is open to everyone across Australia and is easy to participate in.

People can get involved by visiting lapsforlife.com.au, signing up as an individual, or as a team with their colleagues, family or friends, setting a goal using the lap calculator, swimming and logging their laps.

Leading International swim brand Zoggs returns as Principal Partner for the event in 2022 and generously supports the event via product donation to reward all fundraising participants. To learn more about Zoggs, visit zoggs.com.

To register to take part in Laps for Life, visit: lapsforlife.com.au.

Join the journey and stay connected by following Laps for Life on socials, visit @LapsForLife.Aus on Facebook and Instagram or share your Laps for Life journey with the hashtag #LAPSFORLIFE.

For more information about ReachOut, visit ReachOut.com and ReachOut.com/Parents.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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