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Radford rallies for mental health

Saturday, 30th May, 2020

Businessman Steve Radford is fundraising to create awareness about men’s mental health. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt Businessman Steve Radford is fundraising to create awareness about men’s mental health. PICTURE: Gavin Schmidt

By Myles Burt

In just over a week, Steve Radford has raised around $37,000 for Lifeline in the name of men’s mental health awareness.

Mr Radford, in collaboration with Lifeline Broken Hill, has been raising money in exchange for him to undertake a challenge chosen by the public.

Mr Radford said he got the idea after being challenged to participate in a social media challenge for men’s mental health by an employee.

The challenge, which has been trending online across the country, challenges nominees to either consume a raw egg, two tablespoons of sugar, a shot of whisky and a beer or donate $200 to Beyond Blue.

Mr Radford, after looking up the challenge, said he didn’t find it to be very clever, learning that Beyond Blue didn’t support the challenge and felt that drinking alcohol sent the wrong the message in regards to men’s mental health. 

“Whilst I think it’s great that these people are trying to raise awareness about men’s mental illness, I think they’re going about it the wrong way,” Mr Radford said.

Still wanting to take part in spreading and supporting men’s mental health awareness, Mr Radford said he instead approached some friends at Lifeline where they planned for him to undergo a public picked challenge as a part of a local fundraiser.

Mr Radford declared that if the public raised $5,000 dollars in the fundraiser, he would not only do the challenge but match that number with his own $5,000 donation.

Mr Radford said whilst he was going to donate $5,000 regardless, the community have definitely been more than generous in their donations to men’s mental health awareness.

“It’s just blown me away, I can’t believe the amount of money that it’s raised,” Mr Radford said.

“But it’s made it quite clear the community also want to come on board and promote awareness to men’s mental illness and see if we can give further support to help those in need.”

Before an online page for the fundraiser was even created, Mr Radford said they had already amassed about $4,000 before it was officially announced on Tuesday, May 19.

Mr Radford said he’s incredibly grateful to those who have donated, especially as the impact of COVID-19 has placed a lot of locals under increasing mental health, physical health and economic pressure.

Mr Radford said Lifeline will not only be able to strengthen their volunteers and local structure with these new funds, but also learnt that $10,000 is enough for Lifeline to engage a permanent counsellor for a 12-month period in Broken Hill.

Mr Radford said the donations would also create the possibility for more mental health workshops and counselling opportunities for residents, especially in regards to local men.

“Suicide rates are exceptionally high, we just need to talk more about our problems and we need to reach out for help,” Mr Radford said.

“There’s help out there and there’s a lot of people who do want to help, and by the money being raised by our community tells us that the community’s passionate about men’s mental health awareness.

“So that’s what’s driving me and most certainly Broken Hill’s very passionate to me, it’s always been in my heart.”

Worried and excited about the upcoming challenge, Mr Radford said he’s more than happy to take on anything the public puts to him as long as it’s safe.

“Whether it’s eat an egg in Argent Street or jump out of an aeroplane,” Mr Radford said.

“I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I’m ready for it and bring it on.”

Locals who would like to donate to Mr Radford’s mental health challenge can do so online at https://bit.ly/3gA1nBR

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