“Surf to Firth” a long way towards better mental health

August 29, 2019

“Surf to Firth” a long way towards better mental health

Shane Holmes hopes to raise $3,000 towards suicide prevention. Photo: Source.

A Waiuku landscaper is acknowledging the memory of a close friend by running an ultra marathon to raise money towards suicide prevention.

Shane Holmes said before his close friend died in 2017, he didn’t think much about suicide.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever been through,” said Mr Holmes.

Earlier this week, the government released statistics revealing there were 685 victims in 2018, the highest number of people since records began.  Men were highly represented in the figures.

“With the number of suicides raising in New Zealand there are a lot of people that need help. Even one suicide in New Zealand is too many. Raising money for a charity like Life Matters means a lot to me,” he said.

Mr Holmes hopes to run the 60km Surf to Firth race next March, a course that includes hills up to 6km in length. He said he enjoys a challenge.

“I’d rather go big than to play it safe. Running is my favourite thing to do so why not raise money for a good cause at the same time,” he said.

Charity Life Matters chair Corinda Taylor said the organisation was grateful for people like Shane who help to not only raise their profile, but also help raise funds to enable them to run their suicide prevention workshops around Aotearoa.

“We believe education is important so that people can become aware of the signs of suicidal distress and how to better support the person who is struggling,” she said.

“It is great to see our men get involved in this area as they are over-represented in the suicide statistics and allows other men to open the conversation to know they are not alone in this struggle.”

Funds raised from Mr Holmes’s run will go towards suicide education, mental health support, and lobbying the government for policy changes.

You can find Shane’s Givealittle page here.

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