Cossie-wearing teachers trek Australia’s highest mountain to raise funds, awareness on youth depression

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Kossie in Cossies
Teachers from Sydney trekked to the peak of Mt. Kosciuszko wearing nothing but cossies to make an impact and raise awareness about youth depression and anxiety. Facebook/Kossie in Cossies

A team of five teachers from Engadine High School in Sydney climbed the peak of Mt. Kosciuszko wearing nothing but cossies in the middle of winter – not to humiliate themselves but to raise awareness about youth depression.

Ben Andersen, Blake Leonard and their friends made their historic trek early in July in a bid to raise $100,000 for beyondblue, a movement that empowers young people to combat depression and anxiety.

“As teachers, we have regular experiences dealing with young people wrestling with depression, anxiety and suicide. We have seen the damage and pain that these issues can cause for young people, their friends and their families,” the group said in their crowdfunding page.

“We decided to do something challenging and entertaining to raise money and awareness of beyondblue, to make a positive impact on our local school community. We quickly realised, however, that through Kossie in Cossies, we have a far wider potential to impact a broader audience.”

Based on their Facebook post, the team made their epic ascent to Mt. Kosciuszko in early in July. The group trained with “The Iceman” Wim Hof months before the actual hike.

“It seems surreal but we made it to the summit of Australia's highest peak in winter wearing nothing but our cossies. Many said it could not be done but with a little hard work anything is possible,” the group wrote on Facebook.

As of press time, the fundraising project has gathered $36,174.20 and the group is still accepting donations until Sept. 8.

“We'd also like to give a big thanks to everyone who has donated so far to beyondblue to assist in their great work to help Aussies get through tough times. Depression is a reality for many people, if nothing else, this goes to show there is a large group of people out there who do care. You don't have to suffer alone or in silence.”

“We are still taking donations until R U OK Day on September 8 so spread the word. It's not too late to be a part of this and give a little to help each other out. Every donation helps no matter how small.”