Swimming for suicide prevention

CHARITY CHALLENGE: Swim squad trainer Tracy Mitchell and 45 others will swim 10km for Beyond Blue.
CHARITY CHALLENGE: Swim squad trainer Tracy Mitchell and 45 others will swim 10km for Beyond Blue. Melanie Keyte

SWIMMERS are getting serious at the Buderim Aquatic Centre ahead of their annual charity fundraising swim, this year in honour of all those who have taken their lives on the Coast.

More than 45 swim squad members have signed up for the challenge, in which they aim to complete a hundred 100-metre laps to raise money for Beyond Blue.

Swim squad trainer and event organiser Tracy Mitchell, who has known of six adults who have died of suicide in the past 12 months, said there's not enough support out there to adequately address the number of suicides on the Coast.

"We need to show people out there our support,” she said.

"It's just so close to home, we've known a few people at the pool who have taken their own lives now, and it could happen to anybody.

"I just want people to get educated and be kind to people, just be aware that it does happen.”

She recommended the Beyond Blue website for anyone who was struggling or just wanted to know more.

"And if you look online, on the Beyond Blue website, they say having a hobby and physical activity helps with depression.”

The pool, which has been running charity swims for the past 16 years, has been fully booked out for the event and has already raised over $13,000, well on track to surpass its original fundraising goal of $15,000.

The Sunshine Coast's average rate of suicide is higher than the national average, with almost eight Australians taking their lives every day.

Swimmer Catherine Thiele, who will swim the 10km in a team with her husband and friend, said she was looking forward to the day.

Participants can choose to attempt the full swim by themselves, or team up with others to complete the huge challenge.

The starting whistle for the swims will sound at 5am on November 26 at the Buderim Aquatic Centre.

For more information or ask how to donate, visit www.give.every mitchell or phone 54456685.

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