Andrew Jeffrey and his dog Bella are walking from Brisbane to Broome to raise awareness around mental health.
Andrew Jeffrey and his dog Bella are walking from Brisbane to Broome to raise awareness around mental health. Contributed

Andrew's Brisbane to Broome walk for mental health

ANDREW Jeffery was in the North Burnett last week as part of trek many people would never dream of doing, walking from Brisbane to Broome in Western Australia.

Mr Jeffery said he was undertaking the massive walk to help raise awareness around men's mental health.

"I suffer from depression pretty bad," Mr Jeffery said.

"Apparently I have suffered for 20-odd years and have been in denial and that.

"I didn't believe in it as I thought it was something women suffer with not males."

Mr Jeffery said 12 months ago he hit rock bottom.

"I tried to commit suicide multiple times, I busted my leg," he said.

"Then I woke up one morning and thought bugger it, I'm going for a walk to clear my head."

Mr Jeffrey said he would be walking for about 4600km.

"It's just up and around a few hills, across a couple of borders," he said.

"I'm going for a walk to clear my head, get back to basics and clear all the toxic stuff.

"It's the best thing I've done."

Accompanying him on his trek is his cattle dog Bella.

"She loves it," he said.

"I have got a buggy where she can have a ride, but she just wants to walk the whole way with me.

"At every water hole I'll let her off and she'll have a drink, a little game and then start walking again.

"She also works cattle for me as there have been a couple of spots where there have been cattle out.

"She puts them back in the paddock, and I fix the fence for farmer, she's also caught rabbits that go in the freezer."

Mr Jeffrey said he was returning to living off the land.

"I fish where I can, camp where I can," he said.

"If there are rabbits around I'll chuck them in the freezer and if there is road kill I'll cut a bit off for my dog.

"She likes roo meat."

Mr Jeffery said he was raising funds and awareness for the Black Dog Institute.

"With my depression I got to know Black Dog," he said.

"There are so many blokes I've spoken to out here who are going through depression.

"If you broke your arm people can see you're injured, when you have depression they can't see you're sick."

He said his time in the North Burnett was very memorable.

"The Grand Hotel (in Monto) has been absolutely awesome," he said.

"They stuck a sticker up behind the bar to promote what I'm doing.

He said he urged anyone who thinks they might suffer depression to contact their GP.

"Go and seek medical advice, talk to your GP," he said.

"And don't bullshit with them, be upfront and honest.

"I've realised now that I live for today and the future; the past is the past you cant change it, all you can do is learn form it."

Mr Jeffery is currently walking from Monto to Biloela.

If you or anyone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 131114, or 000 if it is an emergency.