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The Sam Project

  • Tags: Gold Coast Community

6 months and 25,000kms into an indefinitely long journey around Australia, a giant expedition truck affectionately named “Sam” rolled into Palm Beach on the 25th of November, towing a mobile coffee trailer. I knew this was going to be a good story, so I waited for the media to leave and the crowd of coffee enthusiasts to thin before approaching Scott and Florence Harrod – the owners of Sam and founders of ‘The Sam Project”.
 
Scott & Florence Harrod - The Sam ProjectWhat is The Sam Project?
The Sam Project is focused on connecting Australians and bringing an awareness and understanding of mental illness to remove the stigma and empower Australian's to live the most mentally healthy life possible. We are travelling indefinitely around Australia in an endeavour to achieve our goals. We giving talks to local community groups, businesses, schools etc and offering free exercise and yoga classes to foster the link between physical and mental health. We also try and create a sense of "Sam Project" community with our coffee trailer. This also provides an environment where people can come and talk in a safe and relaxed manner.
 
How Did The Sam Project Start?
The statistics on mental health in Australia are quite confronting. 1 in 5 Australians will experience an episode of mental illness this year and a massive 70% of those won't seek for help mainly because of the stigma, not understanding what is happening with them or not believing anyone can help them.
 
Scott and I decided we needed to do something about this so we sold everything we own to fund the Sam Project.
 
 
What Have You Learnt So Far From the Communities You Have Visited and People You Have Met?
 
That the statistics are real and that for each person their story is unique. There is a common theme though, we are finding that people all over Australia are desperately searching for understanding. Understanding of themselves, understanding from others and understanding of others. Sadly, what is prevalent is judgement rather than understanding.
 
That’s where we really find we can help because we are non-threatening and non-judgemental. We don’t ask probing questions– people come to see us to get a coffee and they just open up and share their story. There is such power in just listening to someone. Both men and women have openly broken down and cried in our arms because we are the first people that they have talked to about what they have been going through, and after talking to us they feel confident about how to move forward and find help. It’s really liberating for them and inspires us to continue doing what we’re doing.
 
 
When Will You Stop?
We don’t have any plans to stop yet. In fact, after six months we feel like we have just scratched the surface – there are still plenty of places in Australia to go and more people to meet.
 
 
Any Final Thoughts?
If anything doesn’t feel right in your life, talk to someone. Someone who will listen and not judge you. There is hope. There’s no reason you need to feel trapped. There is a solution out there for everyone. It’s ok to talk about it. Keep talking.
 
If there is anyone out there that wants to connect with us, we encourage them to get in touch. We can do free presentations in schools, community groups and workplaces and we also offer free yoga, exercise and coffee for a gold coin donation.
 
 
To contact Scott and Florence, visit https://samproject.com.au
Also please like them and share their page with your friends on Facebook so you can follow their journey and help them connect with more people along the way.
facebook.com/samproject2016 The Sam Project
palmbeachfn.com.au
First National Palm Beach
15 Palm Beach Ave Palm Beach, Queensland 4221
Phone: 07 5559 9600