The loss of life due to youth suicide is tragic, and there are few people who have not been touched by the grief or knowledge of someone who has taken their life. An overwhelming number of young people are struggling with depression, and when it leads to suicide the consequence is devastating for the families and friends left behind. On December 23, Mornington’s Brent Loughrey will run from Mornington to the MCG for his 53 To The G fundraiser in support of It’s Okay, Not To Be Okay, a charity established in 2016 by three Peninsula sisters who lost their brother to suicide.
Brent completing Kokoda in 2019
While growing up in Mornington, Brent played sports, attended school, and worked with beautiful young people who have since ended their lives, leaving him anguished and wishing there had been a conversation, an answer, or a way to prevent the tragedy. The cycle continues, and now Brent regularly faces the news that a mate or a colleague has lost a son or a daughter to suicide.
Among friends, Brent – better known as ‘Lockers’ – is recognised for his crazy sense of humour; a practical joker and a fun-loving single dad. But there is a serious side to this young man who is deeply affected by this national crisis, and he is known for acting on his conscience. Brent has previously orchestrated several fundraisers, raising thousands of dollars for Cure Cancer Australia Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia, Variety Victoria, Black Dog Institute, and the International Anti-Poaching Foundation. He draws attention to his fundraisers with quirky self-mocking challenges displayed through social media, and by creating thought-provoking poetry.
Brent began training for 53 To The G in June, and while he thrives on a challenge and the accomplishment, the true motivation is knowing that his effort may save a life. In 2019 Brent completed the gruelling Kokoda Track, using the feat as a major charity fundraiser. Brent’s training is fraught with injuries but he has never failed to complete one of his arduous charity challenges, and on December 23 his many supporters will be eagerly awaiting his arrival at the MCG. To support Brent, go to his Facebook page www.facebook.com/brent.loughrey and follow the links.
If you or anyone you know needs help, contact:
• Lifeline on 13 11 14
• Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
• MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
• Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636