New statistics released by Black Dog Institute have revealed six men commit suicide every day, and 86 ambulances are called daily as a result of suicidal thoughts and failed suicide attempts.
To help combat this frightening statistic, Virgin Australia's Plane Pull raises funds annually for the Black Dog Institute, an independent non-profit for mental health.
This year, a client of McCabe Curwood Do Good Labs, volunteered with a team of 15 at the event as a snack partner, feeding 800 Virgin Australia employees and their families. They provided various foods, including signature Do Good bars, trail mix, chocolate, fruit and water.
Corporate Lawyer Danton Stoloff was invited by Do Good Labs to participate in the event as an expression of gratitude for the advice he has given them throughout the establishment of their organisation.
"There was such a great energy amongst everyone... it was quite an incredible event to be part of," said Mr Stoloff.
Founded by Daniel Rifkin, Do Good Labs is not your ordinary manufacturing food company, and their initiative for mental health awareness isn't limited to the Virgin Plane Pull event. The organisation practices this in the day-to-day running of the business, with a donation made towards a mental health project with every product sold.
On the day, Do Good Labs made an impressive $10,404 donation to the Black Dog Institute. This is in addition to the Do Good Labs $10,000 investment into being the snack provider for the event.
The members of the Do Good Labs Plane Pull team consisted of volunteers from various occupations, including engineers, graphic designers and event managers. They arrived in the Virgin hanger at 6 am to set up and prepare for the launch four hours later.
Among the attendees was Virgin Australia CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah, and professional race-car driver Jamie Whincup.
"The reception was fantastic. Everyone... loved the [Do Good] bars particularly their packaging and taste, but most importantly they loved the initiative behind the bars and what Do Good Labs were standing for," Mr Stoloff said.
At the event, Do Good Labs offered an exciting initiative; each time someone recycled the snack bar packaging, they could then suggest what flavour could be made next and were given a raffle number. Raffles were drawn from a hat at the end of the day, with the winner receiving a free Virgin flight.
Do Good Labs also has future plans to make their product packaging reusable in sporting equipment.
Mr Stoloff exclaimed "Everyone was buzzing. Obviously, to have a chance to win a free flight got everyone excited, but there was genuine excitement around what Virgin, Black Dog and Do Good Labs were doing to promote mental health awareness, and seeing that was something even more special."
This passion stemming from the united alliance around increasing mental health awareness was also seen in the plane pulling competition. While there was a rivalry to be the first to heave the Boeing 737-800 over the 50m finish line, support was given to each of the several teams that participated. Mr Stoloff said it was a "celebration" as much as it was a competition.
For many of the volunteers, the event was a whirlwind series of events. Less than 24 hours after Mr Stoloff boarded the plane to embark for Brisbane, he found himself back home in Sydney. While he joked that the majority of his stay was spent at the airport, he was proud in being able to represent the Do Good Labs organisation and enthused that it was a great success for the McCabe Curwood client.
Mr Stoloff said: "Most entrepreneurs set up companies for the sole purpose of making money, but not David and Daniel – for them Do Good Labs is just a vehicle for funding further mental health awareness initiatives."
"It's very admirable what they're doing... and it's infectious. Everyone who's on board wants to be a part of it."
For more information about McCabe Curwood or Do Good Labs, please contact Amanda Lacey on 0418448570.