Husband takes steps to help Lifeline after wife’s suicide

Marco Mangano, of Sydney, is walking from Sydney to Coolangatta as part of a drive to raise money for Lifeline.
Marco Mangano, of Sydney, is walking from Sydney to Coolangatta as part of a drive to raise money for Lifeline. Marc Stapelberg

THE death of a loved one from suicide is not something you can easily walk away from.

But raising money and awareness for the organisations that support those affected by mental illness, and their families, is something you can walk towards.

>>If you need help with depression or thoughts of self-harm, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14

That's exactly what Sydney-based podiatrist Marco Mangano set out to do when he made plans to walk more than 800km from Sydney to Coolangatta to raise funds for crisis support service Lifeline.

The idea first stepped into Mr Mangano's mind during one of his weekly walks into the city.

"About six months after my wife Jackie passed away," he said.

"I was actually about 48 to 50kg heavier than I am today, so I started exercising not to lose weight, but to ease the pain of losing Jackie."

Marco Mangano, of Sydney, is walking from Sydney to Coolangatta as part of a drive to raise money for Lifeline. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Marco Mangano, of Sydney, is walking from Sydney to Coolangatta as part of a drive to raise money for Lifeline. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Jacqueline Mangano was 34 years old when she took her own life.

After a long battle with depression, she was diagnosed as bi-polar and was hospitalised on a number of occasions.

On June 14, 2011, she died as a result of multiple prescription drug toxicity.

"That's just when I came up with the idea of doing something a bit extraordinary and at the same time raise money for Lifeline who were there to support me after I lost Jackie."

Mr Mangano said he would encourage anyone facing a similar situation to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

"If they've got a loved one or a family member or friend with mental illness, get in touch with Lifeline and talk to someone. Don't feel stigmatised," he said.

"Lifeline has been a great supporter of me and a lot of other people going through this."



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