SHANNON NEVIN is someone who cares about people. The youngest of 5 children, his parents were always helping the community, whether it be inviting a homeless person to Christmas dinner or volunteering at a homeless shelter. Four years ago, Shannon was saddened by the increase in national suicide rates and he wanted to make a difference.
As a personal trainer, Shannon had seen first hand how beneficial exercise can be for depression and anxiety. Being a caring, people person he also understood how invaluable connecting community and sharing love and compassion can be for mental health. So he decided to combine the two… believing that if he could gather people together to walk AND talk… then positives things would happen.
Walk ‘n’ Talk For Life Manly started in February 2016 with 200 people walking from Queenscliff Lagoon to Shelly Beach and back, each wearing their yellow t-shirts and caps. Everyone then gathered for a free sausage sizzle and drink and the community was created.
Participating in a walk and a talk people were reminded that they all experience similar things in their lives. Not everyone is depressed and suicidal, but everyone is human and life’s challenges are real and universal. For some people these struggles can become overwhelming and scary which often leads to separation and loneliness. By gathering people together Shannon was able to show the community that they were not alone in their lives and create an environment where there is always someone there for you… to listen, to hug, to cry with, to chat to and most importantly to feel connected to… by simply walking and talking together.
Following Manly, Shannon has since started 8 more Walk ‘n’ Talk For Life events around Australia and has big plans for many more locations in the future!