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Tas Sharpies flying for mental health

by Jane Austin 3 Dec 2020 18:17 PST
Tas Sharpie Association President Maddy Salter is keen to promote mental health within the sailing community © Elliott Salter

The Tasmanian Sharpie Association is hosting a charity race in support of positive mental health within the sailing community.

Class President, Maddy Salter, said the race will provide an opportunity to promote the off-the-beach dinghy class and to work with and fundraise for SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY (SUSC).

"This year has had an enormous impact on people's mental health. We felt we had a role to play in supporting people to have conversations with others who are struggling and to recognise the importance of self-care," said Salter.

Salter, a passionate paramedic and talented Sharpie sailor, wants to build a community in which anyone who is struggling can feel connected to others and safe to share their own battles.

"We want to reduce the stigma around mental ill-health and promote positive messages that mental health is as important as physical health, and that speaking up when you are struggling is not a weakness. We also want to increase our sailing community's confidence to reach-out and have conversations with people that are struggling, and to know where to seek help if they need extra support," said Salter.

Over 70 people are expected to be involved in the inaugural charity race which Salter hopes will become an annual event. SUSC will brief the sailors before the race and deliver mental health awareness training in 2021.

The Salty Dog Charity Race starts at 12pm on Saturday the 12th of December followed by a barbecue at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (RYCT) at 4pm. Entries are open on the RYCT website and volunteers can register through . Donations can be made via the Tas Sharpies Facebook page.

Need help? Contact Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36.

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