Wear Your Uggs Day to support Australians living with mental health issues

Much-loved Australian shoe brand, Ugg Express, is imploring Australians to wear their uggs to work, school or the shops today, 1 June – the first day of winter – in support of people who are struggling with their mental health.

Wear Your Uggs Day supports mental health organisation, The Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit medical research institute for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Ugg Express is encouraging Australians to purchase ugg boots from Ugg Express where 10 per cent of sales will be donated to the medical research institute before midnight tonight.

For those who already own comfy ugg boots, but still want to help, they can make a donation to the Black Dog Institute’s website or the Ugg Express website.

According to the Black Dog Institute, 1 in 5 Australians will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year.

The term ‘black dog’ is said to be coined by Winston Churchill who used it to describe his prolonged fits of depression from which he suffered.

Amy is one such Australian who has utilised The Black Dog Institute after struggling with depression for almost 10 years.

Amy.

After hundreds of psychiatrists, psychologists’ appointments and a few hospital visits, Amy was diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression.

Just before Christmas 2021, Amy’s “intrusive thoughts” got the better of her and she took an intentional overdose of one of her medications. 

“Thankfully, I managed to pluck up the courage to tell my husband what I had done,” Amy said.

“He got me to the hospital in time, and I was given a second chance at life. I was so thankful to be here, and just so grateful that I’d managed to avoid death.”

After Amy got out of hospital, she spent some time getting better, and she also wanted to help other people who were struggling.

“The Black Dog Institute helped me by facilitating access to the resources I needed to get help for my suicidal thoughts,” Amy said.

“The ironic thing is that of all the treatments I’ve received (which has included 72 electroconvulsive therapy), ‘talk therapy’ has been the most effective and long-lasting.

“They have also provided resources for my husband to help him notice when I’m not okay and numbers for me to call when I need them.

“They also helped me find a way to share my experience to help others.

“I recently ran the Sydney Morning Herald Half-Marathon, raising over $3000 in the process so that other people can access the help that I get now,” Amy continued.

The Black Dog Institute’s Director of Fundraising and Partnerships, Karen Elliff, says Wear Your Uggs Day is a great way to get people thinking about mental health and how to keep their mental health strong.

“We are excited to be partnering with Ugg Express for the second time and are looking forward to seeing people wear their uggs on 1 June around the country knowing that it is helping us continue our research and programs,” Elliff said.

“As well as researching the best way to support those who experience mental health issues, we also look at how to deliver the latest training and skills around the community to ensure people keep on top of their mental wellbeing.”

Ugg Express Marketing Manager, Laura Li, shares Karen’s excitement.

“It’s an honour for us to support a great institute who are creating a better world for us. We’re so excited to be able to assist them in their incredible work again this year,” Laura said.

Amy would like to thank The Black Dog Institute for researching, educating, and providing people the tools to prevent the symptoms of mental illness and suicide.

She also wanted to thank her family, including her husband, for being her light in the darkness.

“I’m still here, thanks to them,” Amy added.

Amy also wants to tell people fighting their own mental health battle that no matter how hard it feels right now – and how much you want it to be over – life is worth living.  

“There are people in your life who love you and there’s always help nearby even though you feel alone,” Amy said.

“You are not alone.”

Please purchase uggs today to support Australians living with mental health issues: https://uggexpress.com.au/pages/wearyouruggsday

Please remember that The Black Dog Institute is not a crisis centre and cannot provide crisis support.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help please call:

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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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