News & Media

Don't Do It Alone documentary released

By: CFA Media

Category: Health & Safety

  11.26 AM 14 October, 2016


Location: General

Views: 2076

Three years ago, Operations Officer Terry Heafield’s battle with depression and anxiety took him to the lowest low of his life.

“I was in a state where I’d contemplated suicide and worked out how, when and where,” said Terry. His struggle also led to him being involuntarily incarcerated in a specialist mental health unit and ultimately, and gratefully, to medication.

Part of his recovery has been to openly share his story with other CFA members and encourage open conversations about the ‘black dog’, you can also follow his journey at the Don't Do It Alone Facebook page.

He achieved that in vigorous style, cycling 2500 kilometres around Victoria through August, stopping in at numerous fire stations to share his insights and encourage anyone battling the demon depression to reach out for help – to “push the button” as he called it.

Terry’s ride and his larger story have now been made into a documentary that will be released next week.

For R U OK? Day we released a trailer and now for Mental health Week 2016 we can release the full length documentary.

He called his epic ride “Don’t Do It Alone” and, all across the state, CFA members and members of the public rode alongside him but also joined in the larger conversation about depression and anxiety.

 “My message is that it’s not a weakness; it’s an illness,” said Terry. “Seek help. Put your hand up. Open communication is so important. Use the resources inside and outside the organisation. Use the peer program.

“This ride [was] to show people that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a long, hard road but you’ve got to look after yourself because there are people out there who love and need you.”

Watch the full length documentary here

 

If you are thinking about suicide, or are worried about a friend or loved one, call lifeline on 13 11 14

A reminder there is a range of services and resources that are available to CFA members to help members manage their mental health and deal with difficulties when they arise. 

Services are free and confidential, and available for matters relating to all areas of life, not only incidents. CFA volunteers, staff and their immediate family members can access these services:

Peer Support Program 

Trained members offering support & guidance – contact your local Peer Coordinator

Member Assistance Program

A 24-hour confidential and external counselling service – 1300 795 711

Chaplaincy Program

Offering 24-hour pastoral care – 1800 337 068

Wellbeing

Access to wellbeing services which include coaching, mediation, case management support, training & education - 9262 8409 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HeadsUP online toolkit

Information and advice on managing mental health and relationship issues –www.cfa.vic.gov.au/headsup

Last Updated: 14 October 2016