When Desmond Huelmo ties up his laces for the Dubbo Stampede, he won't just be thinking about how fast he can finish the half marathon.
Mr Huelmo is doing the Stampede, and three other runs, to raise money for RUOK? Other staff at the Australian Reinforcing Company are joining him with the plan of raising $1000 for mental health awareness.
Looking after a large group of people through his role in Northern Steel Operations for the Australian Reinforcing Company, Mr Huelmo said he started to realise there were a lot of people who were worried about things like their health and finances.
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"I realised it only took a conversation with them to listen, discuss and make them feel better majority of the time, or let them know they need to reach out further for assistance if needed. You can see how personal issues can build up in someone's head if they are trying to deal with it themselves," he said.
"Unfortunately though, now being part of RUOK? I hear of someone who has dealt or who has lost the battle nearly every week with mental health. That's why I am passionate to promote everyone to talk to each other within the team to ask 'RUOK?"
Running has also had an impact on his own mental health. Mr Huelmo said 12 months ago when his wife signed him up for the gym, it not only lead to him meeting a great group of friends, but lead to an improvement in both his own physical and mental health.
As a city dweller, the runner said he was looking forward to bringing his family to Dubbo to explore the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and city.
When he runs in Dubbo, Mr Huelmo will be wearing his RUOK? shirt to remind people to speak up.
"Everyone everyday should feel comfortable enough to ask someone 'RUOK?' if they see they are down or just not themselves," he said.
"Remember a conversation can save a life."
To donate go to: https://bsrf.grassrootz.com/ruok/des-huelmo