Palm Beach local, Jordan Williams, knows first-hand the devastating impact of mental illness. At the tender age of 15, he lost his mother to the devastating illness and has experienced episodes of mental illness himself.
“Growing up, I quickly saw how it was impacting not only my family, but my closest friends and their families too” Jordan says. “I decided I wanted to raise funds for mental health and awareness because people out there need to know they’re not alone.”
In January, 2019, Jordan took on the extraordinary task of walking 849km from Palm Beach to Brisbane. He expected the walk to take 31 days but completed the challenge in just 19, averaging 44-68km per day.
“Walking helps me in many ways. I chose to walk rather than run or anything else, because battling mental illness, for me, is a slow and lengthy process at times. Walking and recovery go hand in hand; they both take incredible amounts of patience and strength and need to be taken one step at a time.” Jordan explained.
During his epic adventure, Jordan raised an incredible $5,990 for Black Dog Institute.“I chose to support the Black Dog Institute because I can’t express enough how amazing and crucial the work they do is. The facility is top of the range and the workforce behind the scientific research is astonishing. It warms my heart knowing they are here and are helping to create a mentally healthier world.” Jordan enthused.
After the walk, Jordan had a special commemorative tattoo done on his legs.“My tattoo is the words “Solvitur Ambulando” he explained. “It is Latin for ‘it is solved by walking’ and it was a phrase I used during my walk. It means that no matter how much of a shadow you feel is being cast over you, there is a way forward, just keep going. Walking in this positive and powerful way, with support from everyone I met, meant I could face my fears and keep going.”
Jordan encourages others to take on a walking challenge for mental health, and will be completing his next fundraising walk at the Black Dog Institute’s Exercise Your Moodwalk event on Saturday 4 May in Sydney’s Centennial Parklands. With Dancing With The Stars’ Michelle Bridges kicking off the event and many other inspiring Black Dog Institute fundraisers attending, it is a family-friendly day to be enjoyed by all for a good cause that is close to the hearts of many.
To register interest in participating in the walk, visit: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/get-involved/fundraise-for-us/exercise-your-moodwalk
Photo credits: Jordan Williams