MORE than 200 people will tackle the bulldust of the Peninsula Developmental Road this long weekend for the Conquer the Corrugations mental health awareness and support walk.
Organiser Emma Jackson, who started the walk in 2015 after losing her nephew Dylan to suicide, said many would be walking the 42km in memory of lost loved ones.
“People really strip the layers and make strong connections, and by Sunday what you see and hear from everyone is so sincere,” she said.
“We’re all people who have lost someone, experienced their own mental health battles or know someone who is; it really is quite incredible to watch the connections among the walkers and the opportunities for them to talk.”
Coen’s Jackie Perry, whose son Daniel Perry suffered from ongoing depression before taking his life just 17 months ago, will be joining 20 family members on the walk.
“Daniel actually did the walk in 2020, and just seven months later he was gone, leaving behind two little boys,” Ms Perry told Cape York Weekly.
“It’s not an easy grief to get through, some days are good and others are bad, it’s bloody awful.”
Ms Perry said Conquer the Corrugations was a marvellous way to connect and support others.
“What a wonderful legacy young Dylan has left behind with the walk; it’s brought a whole lot of people from the Cape together,” she said.
“It gives you that feeling that there are people out there who want to help and support and who understand what you’re going through with the loss of a loved one or mental health.”
Ms Jackson, who lives on Wolverton Station with her family, said the walk was evolving every year, changing and improving.
“We used to camp along the way at Coen and Archer River, but now we camp both nights at 28 Mile Lagoon, which gives us more time for awards and activities,” she said.
“We are also really evolving with our mental health angle, adding those little quirky things that really complement the essence of what the weekend is about.”
Among this year’s new additions is a questionnaire to be filled out during the event and several weeks post-event to gather data on how the event has helped them and what they may have implemented in their lives from the event.
The group will also release LED candles into 28 Mile Lagoon, play mental health trivia and write letters to loved ones or themselves, to be delivered six months later.
Ms Jackson said she was continually amazed that the committee could provide such a huge event for free, including catering and an event shirt.
“Local business is strained at the moment, but they are still supporting us and making the event happen, which is just incredible,” she said.
“People bend over backwards to support the event.”
Visit www.conquerthecorrugations.com.au for more information or to register – registrations remain open until the event.