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News June 29, 2022

Guy Sebastian to Walk 500km for Mental Health

Senior Journalist, B2B
Guy Sebastian to Walk 500km for Mental Health

Guy Sebastian and best mate Tim Freeburn are about to undertake a 500km charity walk to raise funds for youth mental health.

The initiative, called Step Change, was devised by the pair through the Sebastian Foundation.

It has a target of $1 million and has raised over $650,000 already.

The walk begins on Friday, July 1 in Wagga Wagga through Goulburn, Mittagong and Camden before finishing at Martin Place in Sydney’s city centre 100 hours later.

“We need to consider mental health as an integral part of our kids’ education, just as we focus on physical wellbeing,” Sebastian pointed out.

“This will give young people the best possible chance to grow up healthy and happy, as well as a skill set which helps them navigate challenges in their lives.”

He added: “Through Step Change we aim to raise much-needed awareness for youth mental health issues and ensure that all young Australians are given the opportunity to develop psychological coping skills from an early age.

“We need to give kids a mental ‘coat of armour’ to help them flourish.”

Step Change’s goal is to put 35,000 Aussie kids through the Open Parachute program.

The Sebastian Foundation has supported the program since 2020 and funded over 17,000 students across Australia in 36 schools.

Every $30 raised during the walk enables another child to participate.

The program, created by clinical psychologist Dr Hayley Watson, focuses on building psychological skills in school-aged kids to help them address life’s challenges using custom produced documentary stories.

For Dr. Watson, engaging students in open conversations about their feelings is more important than ever.

“The pandemic has placed a lot of stress and uncertainty on young Australians and it is essential that we are teaching each and every one of them the skills they need to thrive,” she said.

Programs also focus on teacher and parent wellness and skill-building, to create a culture of deep and lasting resilience in school communities.

Open Parachute was founded in Australia and has a research partnership with Columbia University in New York.

Their programs are being delivered in schools globally, and are currently supporting over 300,000 students.

You can donate to Guy Sebastian and Tim Freeburn’s efforts here.

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