Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb
On Saturday 2nd September 2017, 650 Firefighters “Stepped up to fight Depression, PTSD and Suicide” by climbing the 28 floors of Crown Metropol Hotel wearing 25kgs of Turnout Gear and Breathing Apparatus.
This year, the Firefighter's Charity Fund with your help aims to raise $500,000 for Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of Mental health issues like depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide, especially for those within the Emergency Service and Defence communities..
- 3 million Australians are living with depression and anxiety
- 1 in 4 Australians will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44
- 3,000 Australians die by suicide every year, an average of eight people every day.
- 10% of our Emergency Services suffer from PTSD
- 41 returned Australian Diggers have died by their own hand on home soil, which is more than we lost on the battlefield during 14 years of war in Afghanistan
Lifeline is a national charity, operating 41 centres across Australia, providing those experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis and suicide prevention support. Lifeline receives over 1 million calls annually; almost 2 a minute, that can include thoughts of suicide, relationship worries, mental health concerns, loneliness and isolation, loss and grief, abuse and trauma among other issues. The $250,000 we aim to raise for them will ensure that staff and volunteers can cover the phones during peak periods on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings when people feel at their most vulnerable and turn to Lifeline. No call should go unanswered.
Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness, by combining clinical services with cutting-edge research, health professional training and community education. Its work focuses on youth, Indigenous communities, men and high-risk workforces like the Emergency Services. Primary areas of research and treatment include depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, suicide prevention and e-mental health. The $250,000 we aim to raise will support Black Dog’s research, and the continued development and delivery of effective treatments and programs.
“Burkey’s M2M” is a charity event run by the MFB Charity Running Club, in conjunction with Mildura CFA, from Mildura to Melbourne (M2M). This year, it will see members of the Victorian Police and Ambulance Victoria join firefighters from the CFA and MFB to "Step up to fight Depression, PTSD & Suicide" in a 653km relay across Victoria.
“Burkey's M2M2” Relay Run will depart from Mildura CFA on Sunday 27th August and finish at the 4th Annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb (MFSC) on Saturday 2nd September.
Last year, the inaugural “Burkey’s M2M” was held several months after the tragic passing of SSO Damien Burke. “Burkey” was one of our finest and most respected firefighters – after 27 years in the MFB he took a secondment to Mildura CFA. Whilst in Mildura his suicide blindsided everyone who knew him and tore open the heart of both Fire Services. Damien left behind his wife, Anne and 9 children, one of whom is MFB Firefighter Anthony Burke.
This year, in honour of CFA Career Firefighter Nathan “Shanas” Shanahan, who recently lost his fight with PTSD, the route to Melbourne will go via Ballarat.
In conjunction with the MFSC, we are aiming to raise $500,000 to benefit Black Dog Institute & Lifeline.
The route will go from Mildura, through Ouyen, Sea Lake, Charlton, Bendigo, Daylesford and Ballarat enroute to Melbourne. The final leg will be from Damien’s “home station” Footscray #47 to Crown Metropol on 2/9/17. The MFSC will pause to acknowledge their arrival at approx. 0930hrs. Last year, 130 of Burkey’s family, friends and colleagues completed this final 8kms.
Our brothers and sisters in the Emergency Services Family know all too well the toll that the role of first responders can have on mental health, in particular PTSD – we are grateful to have the three services united in “stepping up” for the cause this year.
Below are just a few of the firefighters climbing this year. Please take a minute to read why they are taking part.
Check out what happened at the 2016 MFSC
MFB West Melbourne$7,310
TFS Elizabeth Town$6,930
Climbers, log in to manage your fundraising profile.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the 2016 MFSC raising $348,148 to help the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute improve the health of our kids!