Project: You Are Loved - The 2000km Walk for Suicide Prevention
Meet the woman walking 2000km from Bluff to Cape Reinga. Spreading her message of Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention, Rebecca Kylie Jacobs will be taking the first steps of her massive journey from Stirling Point on February 13th 2020.
Rebecca had battled depression and anxiety for much of her life, suicidal thoughts would pass through her mind on and off for a couple of years. Her depression and anxiety became so overwhelming she decided to leave a very good job in Wellington in 2016 and got help and a place to stay, first with her sister and then with her parents, at which time she was unable to do much at all. In December 2017, she found professional support through the organisation WIT aka, Whatever It Takes.
Under the guidance she received from WIT she found the confidence to approach places like WINZ to apply for financial support, go to doctors' visits and enter into counselling. Previously these seemed like insurmountable tasks because of feelings brought on by her anxiety. Rebecca was also surprised to find help in the free meditation app “Insight Timer” available in the app store.
Things were looking up. After months of group meetings and doctors' visits her counsellor discharged her from being an outpatient in October 2018 and she found a job working for a local company in warehouse distribution, however in early 2019 something happened that would change everything. Careful not to give details that would identify the victim or their family, she says she woke to the sound of the emergency services on a speaker phone outside her house. Someone had tragically taken their own life near her property.
This had a particularly big impact on her. She knew how this person must have been feeling as she had only been there 12 months earlier. She wished she could have saved this person's life by giving them the kindness and support that she had gratefully received herself.
Rebecca was at a loss. All the dark feelings came flooding back. Last year was a record year for suicide in NZ and Rebecca realised it was impossible to be there for everyone, which is when Project You Are Loved NZ was born.
Rebecca will be travelling the entire length of New Zealand on foot from Stirling Point in the Bluff to Cape Reinga in Northland over 100 days. Spreading a message of hope, connection, gratitude, and love in all its forms, she wants to inspire people and remind them that they are worthy of life, love and happiness no matter who they are.
She plans to cover 30km a day, whilst sleeping overnight in a tent or relying on the kindness and hospitality of strangers for a bed for the night.
From Bluff she will first stop in Invercargill then on to Edendale and Mataura where she plans to spend a short time helping in any way she can with people affected by the recent flooding. Then on to Dunedin, Christchurch, Kaikoura and up the east coast of the South Island to Picton. When asked what Rebecca would say to anyone going though what she has, she says:
“What you're going through, this is just a moment in your life. Sometimes it feels like these moments are going to last forever but they don't. Time will pass and so will the moment. Everyone is worthy of life and capable of getting though it just like I have.”
Kiwis For Good will be catching up with Rebecca halfway to cover her progress. I would also like to take this moment to appeal to anyone out there to open their hearts and their doors to Rebecca on her walk. Speaking to her for an hour and a half and watching her fight back tears in order to answer all my questions has left me in no doubt that she is truly a champion of the Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention movement as well as an immensely kind and warm-hearted soul.
To follow her progress and donate please check out the links below...
Visit: https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/project-you-are-loved (all proceeds go to Lifeline Foundation Charitable Trust)