TRAINING: Flagstaff Hill is one of many challenges that Sarah Bon will overcome as she prepares to tackle the Kokoda Trail in May.
TRAINING: Flagstaff Hill is one of many challenges that Sarah Bon will overcome as she prepares to tackle the Kokoda Trail in May. Kyle Evans

Tackling Kokoda to spread suicide awareness

A LOCAL woman will push herself close to breaking point, as part of a courageous effort to prevent others from reaching theirs.

That's the plan of Bowen resident Sarah Bon, who will attempt to tackle the gruelling Kokoda Trail to help raise funds for suicide awareness across our region.

The money raised will go directly to the Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network to benefit those suffering within the local community.

"It's been on my bucket list for a while now,” Mrs Bon said.

"We lost our family member, Peter, 10 years ago to suicide. So I'm going to do this trek and dedicate it to him.”

The undertaking is a new year's resolution for the long time Bowen resident who' is currently waking up at 4am to train each morning. 

She is in her second week of a 19 week training program.

Her regime consists of hikes on well known tracks like Flagstaff Hill, Mt Nut, and the Mother Beddick trail.

Despite some well-founded nerves ahead of her daunting task, the 42-year-old is more concerned about sending her message.

"I'm more nervous about raising money,” she said. 

"The trek is at the back of my mind. 

"Raising awareness is my priority. I've been training twice a day. I'm a bit unfit, but I'm determined.”

2018 marks 10 years since the tragic loss of Peter, after a failed suicide attempt left him reduced to a vegetable state for five years before his passing. 

Unable to eat, talk or walk under his own power, Mrs Bon recounts spending Christmases and Easters in nursing homes to be with him.

"He was a beautiful and handsome guy and he just shrivelled down to this person trapped in his own body,” she recalls.

"We watched as his legs folded in because they weren't being used and his body deteriorated.

"It was terrible to see him gradually just fade away.”

She said her goal of this campaign was to open a dialogue surrounding the issue where those suffering could feel compelled to speak out.

"There is a perception that mental health and depression is embarrassing to talk about, she said. 

"But there are people suffering everywhere and I want them to be able to speak up.

" Poor mental health is a condition.

"You need help and medication to fix it. It's not something you just get over.”

You can follow Sarah's journey on Facebook under 'The Peter Project' Those interested in donating can email info@wspn.org.au