Two young men have set to the skies and soared above and beyond to raise funds and awareness for beyondblue.
Flight Beyond follows the journey of Adrian Luscombe, a 26-year-old medical student, and Jerom Fox, a 26-year-old FIFO worker, who are flying around Australia in a light aircraft travelling 15,000km and visiting over 30 communities to raise awareness of mental health issues and to promote mental wellbeing for all Aussies.
The buddies decided to take off after witnessing the devastating effect mental illness has on people working in their respective professions.
The best mates have touched down last weekend, after stopping in Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and now Victoria, and with a fundraising total of $16,000, Jerom said they won’t stop there.
“We do have a few more things we are doing to push closer to our 25k goal before we wrap up the trip,” he said.
“We had great response from everyone we met with along the way and, as well as having a great adventure, really feel like we made a difference through our discussions and engagements.
“We had some really successful events, of particular note was the site visit hosted by Trip Sponsor Goodline in Port Hedland, where we spoke to around 700 of their FIFO workers about mental health and beyondblue.”
Jerom said the trip was vital to spread awareness of mental health issues, especially to workers in the mining and resources inustry.
“Typically men are more likely to recognise symptoms of depression, but are less likely to seek help. This means that many men are not taking steps to address mental health issues at the early stage,” he said.
“The mining and resources industry is quite a tough industry to be in and can be mentally and physically demanding, so this can exacerbate these issues.
“The statistics on workers’ mental health in remote mining communities are concerning. It’s believed that FIFO employees experience mental health conditions at rates well above that of the general population.”
Goodline, a major mining maintenance and construction company, has welcomed the Flight Beyond team onto their worksites to promote discussion on mental health amongst their workforce and provided a generous donation to the beyondblue cause.