In October 2017, Melanie Jorgensen and her family’s lives changed forever.

Their beloved son Lachlan was known for his “big personality” and his love of all sports, especially athletics and football, but after suffering with depression and anxiety for more than a year, the 15-year-old took his own life.

Looking back, Lachy’s mum Melanie said her son’s behaviour changed when he was 14 years-old.

“He started to not feel himself,” she said. “Things had changed.

“Sports can be quite competitive. There were a lot of nasty comments thrown around, so that was hard to deal with.

“He decided that at the end of 2017 he didn’t want to play football anymore and I think that says a lot.

“He was the fun kid. He was big on social justice. He never really liked people being bullied or picked on.

“He absolutely loved his sports. He’s probably not someone who you expect ends up with anxiety and depression and takes his own life.”

In the midst of their grief and heartache, Melanie and her family are determined to get the conversation started and raise awareness about the realness of suicide.

In 2018, Melanie organised Laps for Lachy – an initiative to get people talking about suicide, while walking, cycling or running 400-metre laps – something that Lachy dearly loved.

“This is a real thing, especially with our young people,” she said.

“Lachy would easily talk about his injuries but not the other stuff. It’s really difficult for people to open up about it.

“I wish he had reached out.”

While Melanie recognised that Lachy kept his mental health to himself she is encouraging others to “check in” with their loved ones.

“You just never know how you interact with people, what difference it can make. If you show them some kindness that could be the day that they are on the edge and that kindness gives them that step back.”

Melanie said about 150 showed their support last year and she was encouraged to continue the cause with a second event this year.

She is also hoping to raise $10,000 for the wellness program Path of the Horse to provide young people with equine therapy sessions.

“We want the whole community involved and we want everyone to look after themselves and each other,” she said.

“As a community, if we can do something to help someone, that’s got to be a good thing.

“I don’t want it to happen to anyone else’s Lachy. Be kind.”

Melanie said Lachy would be “happy” knowing his mum and his family are putting themselves out there, to try and make a difference to someone else’s life.

Laps for Lachy day is on Sunday, December 1 at Tony Clarke Reserve between 9am-2pm.

To donate: bit.ly/2r1J3wq

If you or anyone you know needs help contact: Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au.