Local News

Solo Murray River Journey Sparks Conversation about Depression

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A life changing solo journey is currently unfolding on the Murray River.

Marc Nieuwenhuys is less than a week away from the finish line of ‘Talking About A Lonely Journey’ a 2,400km kayak trip to beat depression.

He has been out on the river for more than 100 days, making connections with river communities, speaking about mental health, and writing a book about it.

Marc said the journey has actually been anything but lonely as he has received an enormous amount of support and encouragement from people along the river as well as people reaching out to him on Facebook.

On Sunday 1 December, Marc celebrated his birthday at a hotel in Tailem Bend and took a moment to escape the rainy, cold and windy weather.

While Marc is expecting some unfavourable conditions to see him through to his finish point, he is determined to meet his welcoming party this Saturday 7 December at Sugars Beach, Hindmarsh Island from 2pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Marc said while having deep and meaningful conversations has helped him on his journey, it does not have to be the starting point for someone who is grappling with depression or when reaching out to a friend who is experiencing mental health problems. 

"Just sit beside them, you know, give them a hug, say g'day, make a phone call," he said.

"If you think that you're friend is suffering so you're not going to make contact because he's down and miserable, well that's the time that you really do need to make contact... and talk with honesty - honesty and kindness changes everything."

For Crisis Support, contact Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14.
Photo with permission from Marc's facebook page Talking About A Lonely Journey