Spectacular skills on show at Freestyle Mega Jam
GLADSTONE'S young scooter and skateboard competitors displayed some spectacular skills at the PCYC on Saturday.
But according to Ride 4 Life Gladstone President Mark Brookes there was one skill on display that stood out more than any of the high flying stunts.
"Watching the young guys cheering on the older boys and saying they want to be like them," he said
"Then those older boys taking the young fellas under their wings and teaching them stuff."
"The mentor-ship the older riders are providing to the younger competitors is amazing,"
This is the second Freestyle Mega Jam competition, organised by Freestyle Industries, Chameleon Skateboards and the Gladstone PCYC to raise awareness for mental health and youth suicide prevention.
"I came to the first event because some of the guys had been affected by suicide," Mr Brookes said.
"If you follow the statistics a lot more people lose their life to suicide nowadays than cancer."
He said the best advice he could give to anyone "who's head-space is clouded" is to talk.
"Talk to your family and friends or talk to people in organisations like Anglicare or Lifeline on 131114," Mr Brookes said.
"We've got counsellors and people involved with our organisation to help you out of that dark space.
"Also, if you've been affected by suicide, there are people we can connect you with to allow you release that trauma."
He said mental health still carries a stigma.
"We don't have stigmas around asthma or Alzheimers," Mr Brookes said.
"We need to be more empathetic toward people suffering from depression, anxiety or bi-polar.
"Telling them to take a teaspoon of concrete and harden up isn't the answer."
He said the best way to break down barriers associated with mental health was education.
"Don't be ignorant," Mr Brookes said.
"We need to understand that mental health is very important to physical health.
"The Chinese say your first wealth is your health."
Mr Brookes said he was proud to be a part of the Freestyle Mega Jam.
"It's been great seeing all the competitors taking their sport seriously and the camaraderie and brotherhood they've got down here," he said.
"If there were these sort of ideals in our industries and socially, our community mental health would be a lot better."