When Helen Galloway struggled with her mental health, she reached out for support that saved her life.
The Elermore Vale resident wants others who are struggling to receive the same, much-needed support.
"I am way too old to study to become a psychologist but I am not too old to walk to raise funds to help those who are trained to help others, so instead I am helping by raising funds and walking 30 kilometres for Beyond Blue this Friday," she said.
"I was a child that was abused and probably not until later in my life, probably when I was about 50, I realised just how badly that had impacted my life and I struggled quite a bit with anxiety and depression and having panic attacks and fortunately I had somebody who was working with me at the time who recognised I may need to talk to someone and gave me a card for a psychologist.
"I ended up in a really bad way with a panic attack one day and just rang and made an appointment straight away and that was the best thing I ever did."
Beyond Blue experienced a 53 per cent increase in people seeking the 24/7 mental health support over the phone in 2021. Each contact to the 24/7 service costs around $48 to answer.
Ms Galloway hopes to raise vital funds so the service can continue to help more people, as she knows first hand the benefits of being able to reach out for support.
"I think we are all significantly struggling at the minute with all the pressures that are going on around us," she said.
"Getting help and getting to talk to someone meant for me just being able to sort through a lot of emotions and a lot of pain that I had gone through. Beyond Blue are your first point of call and they will refer you onto people who can give you some ongoing help.
"Just getting to talk through things, I think a lot of us would recognise that when we are in the middle of something that is going on, if we can just sit down and talk to someone it helps you to kind of solidify things in your mind.
"If you can sit down and just sort of verbalise it to someone else and they can reflect it back to you it gives you a little bit of a more balanced view."
So far she has raised $4000, but she hopes to continue to grow that number.
"I would like to make sure that at least 100 people get help and are supported. At this particular point in time it is $48 to have somebody answer a phone call and give support, so we would like to raise $4800. But of course if we can raise more than that and guarantee that there is going to be someone on the end of the phone for anybody who needs it then we don't really want to stop, we just want to keep going."
People needing support can contact Beyond Blue 24 hours a day on 1300 22 4636 or chat online at beyondblue.org.au
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