Luke Benham was born in Mildura Hospital in 1983 and grew up in Robinvale. Everyone asks, so he is the son of Ron & Lynette. Frank & Ray are his Uncles, Margie Leslie is his aunty, Dianne and Colin Hicks are also his aunty and uncle and yes, he is Jade's husband.
In his late teens, he felt something he'd not felt before and no, it had nothing to do with puberty. He actually didn't know what it was, but it was making him have some very peculiar thoughts and feel strange. More than just sadness or feeling down, this was something he knew wasn't right, but he tried to shove these thoughts and feelings aside, until it all came undone. After many visits to doctors, various medications, complimentary medicines and therapies, Luke is in a place to talk about his illness and struggle with it, so much so that he was a guest on 'The Vale Podcast' in 2019. This was the first time that most of his friends and indeed some of his own family had even heard anything about him having this debilitating illness.
That first public discussion has blown the lid off for Luke, and now he wants to do more.
After hearing Nova 100's Jonathan Brown's efforts last year in NYC, Luke was inspired to do
something to really make a difference on the ground in our community with regard to making a change to the landscape of mental health services.
After deciding that wonderful charities such as Beyond Blue are great for the purpose they serve, there is no real tangible outcome in our community. So after much thought, consideration and conversation he decided that the best thing he could do was to raise money for our local health service to provide a service for those who may be suffering, who might be aware of changes in thought patterns, for carers of people going through some issues or other illness and just need someone to talk to.
Robinvale District Health Services Board and CEO Mara Richards have committed to a weekly clinic
for anyone to drop in and discuss any mental health issues, or just have a chat with a dedicated
Social Worker. One of those days per month would be exclusively for local students, which also
means working with and engaging the local schools and wellbeing teams. The dedicated one day
per week will ensure sustainability for up to a year!