Dampier Sharks hold 7km run for mental health awareness

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Dampier Sharks Heart and Sole Mental Health Run organisers Grant Theelan, Layton Cooper, Aaron Ebsworth, Amy Harman and Jessica Ireland.
Camera IconDampier Sharks Heart and Sole Mental Health Run organisers Grant Theelan, Layton Cooper, Aaron Ebsworth, Amy Harman and Jessica Ireland. Credit: Marg Bertling

There were sore legs and sweaty folk aplenty in town on Saturday after about 150 residents participated in a 7km fun run to raise awareness of mental health.

The Dampier Sharks organised the Heart and Sole Mental Health Run to bring the community together after a spike in suicides during the festive season.

More than $2000 was raised, with proceeds going to the Karratha Men’s Shed and Karratha Women’s Place.

Event organiser Jessica Ireland said the run was spurred by a lack of awareness around what foundations or organisations people could go to in town for help.

“We didn’t want the proceeds going to one of the bigger organisations that the town wouldn’t see any benefit from,” she said.

“We really felt that if we could help these two organisations provide some awareness it was actually going to benefit the community.”

The run quickly turned into a community-wide affair.

“Mental health is such a raw topic at the moment,” Ireland said.

“Almost every single person has had some sort of connection with mental illness and its is something that everyone is supportive of and wanting to get around because it does affect so many people.”

The family-friendly day would not have been possible without the support of the local businesses and individuals which donated their time and services.

Cherratta Lodge provided breakfast, a local company supplied a bouncy castle and Claire Bailey provided face painting for the children.

The Sharks were so impressed by the response the club hopes to make it an annual event.

“We planned it in about five weeks, so with more time and understanding it will be an even bigger event next year,” Ireland said.

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