Australian wedding photographer Edwina Robertson has donated $15,000 to Tie Up The Black Dog charity; she pledged $3 for every share of her photo of a wedding couple who has been affected by the drought stricken Western Queensland.
Much like the Western U.S., Western Queensland has suffered from a prolonged drought. The couple, who both have backgrounds in ranching, made the decision to hold their wedding back home in Blackall to help the struggling economy. Even the flowers were locally sourced, mostly from neighbors backyards.
The bride is the fourth generation of utilizing this land and they have never in 80 years had to de-stock completely due to lack of feed for their cattle. This drought has affected many rural communities throughout Australia. These communities struggling to get by have very little support for mental illness. Tie Up The Black Dog’s mission statement:
Our mission is to bring better awareness of mental health issues into rural and regional communities. We seek to use good clinical information accompanied by some personal life experiences to lift the cloak surrounding mental illness and depression.
This subject hits close to home for me; the small town of Ely, Nevada from which I was born and raised mirrors these struggles. It has an economy that hinges on copper prices and agriculture that is dwindling in the extended droughts. They cannot keep skilled, caring doctors in the area for long. If it’s anything like Ely in Western Queensland, those who struggle with mental illness are left to the police and inadequate hospital staff and facilities. The looming stigma of mental illness by those who don’t or won’t understand creates even further hardships on those affected.
The charity, which was founded in 2007 by three rural women, has no overheads, no staff, and no one takes home a salary. Every forum and event is organized on donated time by these people. You can find their crowdfunding page on OzCrowd. Robertson, who donated $15,000 in one single swoop, challenges you to donate $3 to the campaign as well. Props to Edwina and those at TUTBD for bringing awareness to this issue.
Images used with permission.