A new mental health and fitness support group for men has begun at The Haven, Terrigal.
Walk It Off offers support for people who need a place to connect with others and share in an accessible, casual, non-judgemental setting.
Every Wednesday from 5.30pm, residents are invited to meet at The Trojans Clubhouse at Terrigal to get involved.
From here, the group will walk from The Haven to Wamberal and back, with walkers supporting each other through conversation.
Federal Member for Robertson Gordon Reid MP recently joined the Walk It Off community to discuss the group.
“Walk It Off is an extraordinary organisation with success in regional areas like the Blue Mountains; now it has come to the Central Coast to support our community,” Reid said.
“As an emergency doctor, promoting mental health awareness is a priority, and Walk It Off provides an excellent platform for people in need of support.
“Not only does Walk It Off support mental health through a non-judgemental setting, but those who get involved are becoming physically active, which is so important for overall health.
“Walk It Off has my support and I look forward to helping support the organisation develop in our region.”
Walk It Off founder Phillip Dixon said the group was all about helping support men navigate life.
“Walk It Off is a grass roots, community-based men’s mental health support initiative that promotes awareness and provides a platform for men to share openly about the positive and challenging circumstances of their lives,” he said.
“Back in 2020 I was suffering with my mental health and reaching out for help.
“I couldn’t see a way forward and experiencing immense pressure; I was on the edge of taking my life.
“It became apparent shortly after navigating the minefield of my crisis that there were limited face-to-face services available.
“The process to get urgent help simply wasn’t there.
“Confusing recommendations and dead ends became my reality.
“What I needed was somewhere I could go for support that was informal, consistent, accessible, and most importantly, with men who had lived experience.
“Fast forward two years and in 2022, a work colleague of mine, who was facing similar adversities to what I had experienced, parked his car in the Blue Mountains National Park, went into the bush alone and has never been found.
“Sam’s disappearance, among my own personal experience, launched me into action.
“Shortly after Sam’s disappearance, Walk It Off was founded by a group of men from the Blue Mountains.
“We felt deeply passionate about creating a space where men could connect in our local area, and it was agreed what better way to get through life’s ups and downs than to walk and talk with a mate.”
Dixon would like to see Walk It Off grow across Australia.
“Walk It Off has two locations – Springwood and Terrigal,” he said.
“Both walks start at the same time on the same day – Wednesdays at 6pm.
“Our vision is to see many Walk It Offs helping communities right around the country.
“Anyone interested attending one of the walks can simply show up at Terrigal Trojans from 5.30pm on Wednesdays.
“We go on a short 3.5km walk that takes about 45 minutes.
“The only requirement for participation is the desire to make a positive difference to your own mental health and (that of) others around you.”
For more details go to www.walkitoff.org.au
Member for Robertson Gordon Reid