Lynne Chittick will be stepping out on her regular morning walks with an extra sense of purpose in October.
The Ulladulla woman is taking part in One Step Forward, a Black Dog initiative raising money for vital mental health research.
Walking in memory of her son, 25-year-old Jayden Chittick who died last year, Lynne said every cent counts.
"I'm trying to raise money for mental health because it's something I feel so strongly about and Jay felt strongly about, as do all his friends," she said.
A former Ulladulla High School student, Jay himself was an avid walker and Lynne said he'd sometimes rack up 100,000 steps a day.
Living in Melbourne last year, Jayden began to struggle again during the region's extended lockdown.
With his regular social and exercise outlets limited, and access to health experts and physiologists restricted, Jayden's mental health deteriorated.
"I'm very mindful that lockdowns are necessary but certainly that 100 straight days in lockdown was the biggest thing for Jay and his mental health," Lynne said.
"All people saw were the bad things happening, with no clarity to their thoughts. It's that fresh air, real people and broader perspective that you get when you're out walking that makes a huge difference."
Lynne's no stranger to the mental health benefits of walking. She walks from Ulladulla to Mollymook at 5.30am every morning.
While she's pitched a 100km month in October, she currently walks around 75km a week already and says October will see her tick off closer to 500km.
October is Mental Health Month and thousands of people across the country will be taking part in fundraising initiatives in solidarity for the 1 in 5 people in Australia who experience symptoms of mental illness every year.
Lynne set out with an original target of $500 but has already passed it thanks to the generosity of friends and family.
Well-aware it's a tough time for many, Lynne hasn't appealed to the broader community yet but said any donations are very much-appreciated.
If you, or anyone you know, is need need of support the following services are available:
- National 24/7 Crisis Services
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
- Blue Knot Foundation: 1300 657 380
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
- Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636