WHY RISE FOUNDATION?
We believe that the bad days are just as important as the good ones.
It's about accepting that these bad days are going to happen.
Most of our learning comes from failing, and then picking yourself back up and pushing on.
From making mistakes and moving forward. From falling and then rising.
We will fail. We will fall. We will make mistakes.
It's part of life and happens to everyone.
The difference is what you make of it, what you learn and what you do after.
This is the part that will define us.
There is no shame in needing a hand when we are down.
There is no shame in asking for a hand.
Accepting that you need a help and asking for it is the brave part.
Giving someone a hand is just as brave.
Rise Foundation Australia ( RFA ) was founded in 2016 by Ben Higgs,
but the seed of the idea was planted much earlier.
Raised in Maroubra and growing up in both the surf and punk music communities,
Ben had silently lived with Type 2 bipolar since his teens.
Hiding behind a mask of calm and togetherness to friends and family became the norm -
but he often found it difficult to leave the house,
and danced with the idea of suicide on many occasions.
In 2013 after losing a couple of friends to suicide and witnessing the ongoing mental health battles of so many others, Ben decided it was time for change in his community.
In 2013, PPP4SPA was born. 24 hours on a treadmill all in the name of mental health awareness.
From humble beginnings in 2013 - Ben, five mates and two treadmills at the local bowling club -
to 2018 and under Ben's vision and guidance, it has now become the largest event for mental health and suicide prevention in the world with over 30,000 people taking part.
About the event, Ben was quoted in the media saying "Money raised is nice to have but these events are all about communities coming together, raising awareness and talking about suicide.
If one person leaves this event today and calls a mate to see how they're doing,
or calls one of the crisis services when they're struggling, then we've done our job. Thats the real success".
In 2014, Ben received an Australia Day Award in recognition of the impact this event had made on the community.
In 2016, itching for a new challenge and ready to make some more noise for suicide prevention -
RFA created WALK IT OFF - a 916km walk from the Gold Coast to Sydney.
Over 15 days, Ben & five mates of RFA walked - speaking at schools and sporting clubs along the way -
all the while having more small conversations as part of a larger global one.
In 2017, Ben was invited to the USA to talk at the National Behavioural Health Conference in Seattle,
and also be interviewed for the global documentary "Suicide : The Ripple Effect ".
Leaving his 20 year tenure at the Botany Waterfront in 2017, Ben has committed his full time focus to RFA and spreading the message of mental healthiness and education out to as many Australians as possible.
Leading regular Mental Health First Aid courses and Lived Experience Talks, Ben is a firm believer that many voices make a lot of noise. With this in mind, Ben has partnered with health and business professionals, considered leaders in their fields, to create and continually develop the RFA education packages.