Pre-COVID, Saturday, 11 September would have seen 600 Firefighters and other emergency service personnel stepping up to fight depression, PTSI and suicide, by climbing the 28 floors of Crown Metropol Hotel in Melbourne, wearing 25kgs of turnout gear and breathing apparatus.
COVID restrictions have forced a change of plans, but in the process opened the annual event up to more people in more locations.
Organisers of the 8th Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb are inviting the first responder community to join in “virtually” and collectively climb a “million steps for mental health.
”3,046 Australians lose their lives to suicide each year, so we are asking you to climb at least 3,046 steps over the next month,” says Event Director, Steve Axup.
“Together we want to climb a million steps for mental health, together we will make a difference.
“Whether it be your back steps, some stairs at the local park or even a milk crate in the lounge room we are asking you to step up.”
Starting on World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept 10) and concluding on World Mental Health Day (Oct 10) participants have a month to achieve their goal and raise funds.
This year, the target is $500,000 to be shared between Fortem Australia, Lifeline, and the 000 Foundation, to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of mental health issues like depression, Post Traumatic Stress Injury and suicide, especially for those within the emergency service and defence communities.
Register, donate and get involved HERE.
James Maskey, Fortem’s Engagement Manager says, “The support of the Melbourne Fire Fighter Stair Climb will allow us to support more people and go further.”
“Thank you to those taking part and those who drive this powerful community building initiative.
“Fortem draws on the Five Ways to Wellbeing developed by the Melbourne Hospital.
“The Five Ways are – connect, be active, keep learning, be mindful, help others. The Melbourne Fire Fighter Stair Climb is a great example of those values and inspires others to make ground on their own mental fitness.
“Thank you for your support of Fortem Australia, we’ll be cheering on all those taking part.”
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