Leo is an inspiring teenager who along with his dad, chose to raise funds for Breakthrough by walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way, raising more than $6,000.

Leo says, “I was diagnosed with anxiety and OCD when I was 7 years old. I still remember the struggles I had in primary school – thinking I was the only one who faced challenges and felt anxious, but I didn’t know how to talk to teachers or fellow students. It was a difficult time filled with fear, loneliness, and bullying.”

“My first Camino taught me that the world is a safe place, even though every day held uncertainty, involved travels to the unknown and of course, physical hardship.”

Leo decided to walk the Camino de Santiago a second time, this time, to raise funds for research in Youth Mental Health and our Big Talks for Little People Program.

He continues, “I have joined with Breakthrough to raise awareness and funds for the development of a program called ‘Big Talks for Little People’… which works with primary school teachers and their students to raise awareness and provide tools to support children with mental health challenges.”

The Big Talks for Little People program is a mental health literacy program which aims to help school students better understand their mental health and enhance their well-being.

At Breakthrough we know that when a young person is struggling with their mental health, a friend is usually their first responder. That’s why is so important to equip the young ones with the tools to identify when a mate is struggling and how to find help. Schools participating in the program report a considerable decrease in instances of bullying by 25%. We are now looking forward to expanding Big Talks for Little People into more schools, community and sporting clubs, and after-hours school care.