“Are you okay?” It is one of the most simple questions you could ask, and yet it is one of the most powerful.
The R U OK? charity is a foundation that aims to raise awareness about this simple question and how it has the possibility to save lives.
Warren Leppan, a former officer of the Royal Navy, is this week undertaking a “yomp” – a UK military acronym for ‘your own marching pace’ – from Sydney’s Anzac Museum to Canberra’s War Memorial.
Over seven days, he aims to raise mental health awareness and donations for the R U OK? charity.
Mr Leppan, having experienced a mental health problem himself, wants to share his story and inspire people living with mental health conditions to talk about it. “I want to inspire them to talk to other people as a first step, you know, get it out there,” he said. “A problem shared is a problem halfway solved.”
The R U OK? charity “don’t claim to be able to fix these things or provide a solution; instead they say ‘let’s talk about it, let’s ask each other’,” he said. “I say, put your head first.”
Mr Leppan has a fundraising target of $5000 and would be grateful for any support towards the cause.
He plans to pass directly through Goulburn on R U OK? Day, Thursday September 13; setting out for Collector on Friday.
Mr Leppan has set up checkpoints for each day, where he meets with his support team to take on water, make video diaries and check in.
He carries necessary provisions with him and takes primarily back roads on his journey, on a plotted route of a town every 40km to 50km across the 300km march.
His inspiration came from his own life experiences that left him with depression. Over time, he decided he would “do a complete 180” and try to “change my situation and improve my mind frame”.
See Warren Leppan’s video diary via Instagram:
Support the fundraiser via: