Charles’s great strides for mental health
Published: 23 October, 2017
In support of the mental health of people in rural and regional Australia, Charles will be heading to the Big Apple in November to take on the New York Marathon.
Having spent most of his life in the country, Charles is familiar with the ups and downs of life on the land and the toll it can take on farm workers and their families.
With heightened concerns for the mental health of people living in Australian communities similar to his own, Charles Roche decided he needed to play his part to raise awareness and funds for mental health research and services.
On Monday 6th November, Charles, alongside Sydney Strider running club friends Matt and Shaun, will be tackling the 42km course around New York City in memory of his mate Jim who sadly died by suicide.
Jim’s passing opened Charles’s eyes to the fact that you can’t always see what people are experiencing.
“I saw how easily people can fall through the cracks when I experienced the reality of suicide,” he explains.
Jim motivated Charles to start his fundraising efforts for a cause now close to his heart. For him, it was tragic that Jim didn’t realise how much support he had available to him from mental health services and the support network of family and friends around him.
“I chose to fundraise for Black Dog to support their research into finding an answer,” says Charles. “I have a connection with Black Dog because I have experienced the things that impact on the mental health and wellbeing of rural and regional people.”
“Fundraising for Black Dog has shown me just how raw the mental health issue is in Australia. Everyone is connected to it in some way. Everyone knows too many who have fallen through the cracks. And everyone is incredibly supportive of the work Black Dog are doing in trying to find answers.”
For anyone interested in undertaking their own fundraising journey, Charles recommends they simply be themselves.
“If you are passionate about something because you’re connected to it, then there’s a good chance that if you tell that story, others will be inspired to donate. Like a lot of things, it is about being authentic,” he explains.
The Sydney Striders meet twice weekly in Sydney’s Centennial park, with Charles, Matt and Shaun being joined by runners of all ages and abilities.
“It’s a fun, social, friendly environment – but also a great workout and release for the mind and body,” says Charles.Click here if you would like to help Charles's efforts by making a donation to the Striders’ fundraising page.