Recently I attended a very special event at Truffleduck in Fyansford, Geelong. The Those Left Behind fundraising luncheon officially launched Donna Bowman’s 3000-kilometre walk around Victoria to raise awareness and funds for mental health and for those left behind after the suicide of a friend or loved one. Donna lost her husband, Tony, who sadly took his own life on their Elaine property last March. He was a retired police officer, who had worked in a number of regional towns across Victoria and served as a member of the Australian Federal Police. Donna’s walk left Geelong police station en route to Colac on the first anniversary of Tony’s death. Donna hopes to raise $1 million, with all proceeds going to the Victoria Police psychology unit to improve resources for clinicians supporting police members and their families struggling with mental health issues. I was honoured to attend Donna’s campaign launch and wish her every success on her walk for Tony and those left behind. I also offer my heartfelt condolences to all those affected by suicide, especially those in the police force and those affected by mental illness.

20 March 2019