Mental illness gets the silent treatment

Posted on October 1, 2013

Esther Olsson knows what it's like to lose someone to mental illness. In the last two years, the 20-year-old from Hawthorn had to attend the funerals of two uncles who lost their battles with depression.

As a result, Ms Olsson is once again taking part in ZIP IT, a campaign that challenges people across Australia to stop talking for up to 24 hours on World Mental Health Day, October 10, to raise awareness about the crippling effects of mental illness.

The founder of ZIP IT, Tania Burstin, said she wanted to create a significant challenge to support those suffering from mental illness. With a background in fundraising technology and an interest in mental health, she decided to merge the two and create a campaign with a point of difference.

''We want people to donate their voice for either eight, 12 or 24 hours, and we'll be posting music, information about nutrition and generally keeping people company every hour,'' Ms Burstin said.

In 2012, ZIP IT raised over $55,000 for Mental Health Charities, which include Black Dog Institute, headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Lifeline and Suicide Prevention Australia.

Source material from The Age

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