Don Burrowes doesn't remember much of the six months after his car accident in 2013. But he knows he wasn't right.
"I took myself to the doctor and he took control from there," he said.
"I can only remember the day of the crash, and patches after that, which they tell me is quite normal."
The 59-year-old was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which at first glance could be attributed to the crash.
But Don believes the visceral trauma he experienced through his career was mixed in as well.
"In 2002 I started with rural counselling and then went to the Department of Primary Industries for five years," he said.
"We did a lot of work connecting people who were under stress, and perhaps suffering from depression and anxiety, with services.
"Very much at the core of that was dropping into the farm and having a cup of tea.
"It was an intense time; it's hard not to be affected."
It was a "two-and-a-half year journey back to wellness" for Don.
"There was never one light-bulb moment; it was a lot of incremental moments and the faith I had in the people around me," he said.
Throughout his recovery, Don maintained his goal to do the Kokoda Track before he turned 60 - his wife Wendy's father was Frances Walter 'Wally' Gordes, who was part of the Kokoda campaign.
"The driver to do Kokoda was that he'd been there, and I'm the sort of person who needs a purpose, so I decided I'd fundraise for Australian Rotary Health," he said.
"I'm a strong advocate for them because they are Australian and one of the biggest funders of health research in the country."
The Uncle Tobys employee is flying out tomorrow to Papua New Guinea, and hopes to fundraise at least $5000 during his eight-day trek.
He specifically wants the money to target research into schizophrenia.
"We see great recognition for issues such as depression, anxiety and PTSD, but largely still unrecognised are the psychotic disorders," he said.
"I've had family members and friends affected by schizophrenia.
"You get highly productive people who have bouts of depression and schizophrenia, and end up in hospital.
"It robs people people of their quality of life."
The Victorian Royal Commission into the mental health system heard recently how one extremely intelligent blue-eyed girl became a murderer after a lifelong battle to manage what was called at her sentencing "a schizoid-type illness".
Anna Horneshaw's story has been told many times, in her mother's own books and last week on The Project, and will be shared again at the Mental Health Gala in Albury.
Mary Perhsall told in her evidence to the commission that she can now see "there were signs of mental illness sprinkled through Anna's childhood".
Anna's first serious contact with the health system was when at 14, she was hospitalised for anorexia.
She began to see a doctor, but continued to display concerning behaviour, such as train-surfing to impress a friend.
"Anna attended a senior secondary college for VCE, and there she found what we had so long hoped for: friends who cherished her," Mary said.
"We were thrilled when she was accepted to study psychology at Swinburne University. While at uni she met a wonderful young man."
Anna graduated in 2010, but she had still not secured work in psychology two years later and her relationship broke down.
"Anna moved back in with us at the beginning of 2013," Mary said.
"Because I only saw her occasionally when she was living out of home, I had no idea how much she had deteriorated.
"I was shocked as she spent entire days sitting under the pine tree in our big backyard, smoking bong after bong.
"I now understand that while Anna still had the structure of university, she could function well. But adult life was too much for her.
"The ghosts who whispered in her ear when she was a child reappeared, only this time they were snarling and howling."
In 2013, Anna tried ice given to her by a man she had met on the train.
By this time, Mary and Anna's sister Katie were trying to get help for Anna through the mental health system.
One night, when they were begging Anna not to go back to 'ice man', she agreed to go to rehab.
The next day, they sat at their family clinic for hours, as their doctor tried to find a place for Anna to be admitted.
All that could be secured was an intake assessment to a detox facility in 10 days' time.
Those 24 hours had been effort enough - there was no chance Anna would show up for an appointment in 10 days, and she didn't.
One morning in 2014, Mary went into the kitchen to find Anna reading a book and drinking a beer.
Mary's husband John came in, grabbed Anna's beer and told her she couldn't have anything else to drink.
"She jumped up, grabbed our large cook's knife and thrust it towards her chest," Mary said.
"John grabbed her hand before she was able to make contact and wrestled her to the floor. Anna was screaming that she wanted to die."
Anna went to hospital and that evening met with a mental health nurse, who asked them, 'What good would a few days in the psych ward do?'
After stints in detox programs, Anna was back on ice in 2014 and was picked up by police, naked at a service station in Footscray and was admitted to a psychiatric ward.
"She wanted to be kept there, contained, because she knew she couldn't control herself," Mary said.
"But she told me the person in charge of making that decision had spoken harshly to her, saying the psych ward was not there to provide accommodation to people just because they wanted it.
"The person who had said this to Anna was not on shift, so I pleaded my case with the person in charge. 'If you care so much about her,' this person asked, 'why don't you take her home with you?'"
From there Anna came to live with a big Macedonian man called Johnnie, "and his gang of jolly mates".
They were friendly people who spent the day drinking and watching SBS.
But they lived in squalid conditions, and it often agitated Anna.
"Anna says that she herself was afraid of her violent outbursts during that time," Mary said.
"She has told me often about how she presented to the nearest hospital and asked to be admitted to the secure psych ward."
But Anna was told they couldn't give her a bed just because she wanted one.
In November, 2015, a pregnant Anna stabbed Johnnie to death.
"For years, John and Katie and I had dreaded receiving The Call," Mary said.
"But we always imagined the sombre voice of the policeman would inform us that it was her who had died.
"I wanted to line up all the authorities we had met from the mental health system and scream at them, 'Again and again you turned her away. Well, now she's murdered someone. Are you finally convinced that she's BAD ENOUGH?'"
Anna cutting down on drugs for the sake of her baby may have exacerbated the situation.
While it's no excuse, and in no way does Mary want to trivialise the murder, in a way prison was the best thing for Anna.
With adult responsibilities removed and the right medication, Anna's mental health is better than it has been for years.
"We need more places in secure psychiatric facilities, and people should to be able to stay there longer than just a few days," Mary told the Royal Commission.
"After they leave the psych ward, they should be offered long-term placement in a residential rehabilitation facility.
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"Of course, my plan would require a lot of money.
"But how many millions of dollars is it going to cost to keep Anna and others like her in prison?"
A change in the mental health system is crucial, but Don Burrowes also believes research into mental ill health is highly important.
"I'm not a psychologist, but I think with frontline services we're still learning," he said.
"We need to fund more research so we better understand what the triggers are, and if there is a mechanism we can find to undo that chemical imbalance in the brain.
"I'm very lucky, because through my work I had understood who the people were that I needed to work with.
"I couldn't have done this without my wife and my family."
- To donate to Don's cause, visit give.everydayhero.com/au/don-burrowes.
- For the Mental Health Gala, search eventbrite.
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