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Stepping up to fight mental health illness

  | CFA News Views: 488

When Jamie Francis was struggling with his mental health, it was the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb that helped give him back a sense of purpose.

Stepping up to fight mental health illness

Jamie is completing his 3046 steps using a step inside his house.

After dealing with a traumatic event during his time with CFA, Jamie dealt with late onset post-traumatic stress, and found himself struggling to leave the house.

“It was a very delayed onset. The event that caused it [the post-traumatic stress] was in my first year of CFA in 2012, and it crept up on me” said Jamie.

“I did the Stair Climb in 2018 as my first big outing after not being able to leave my house for 18 months.”

“Now I do it to raise much needed awareness and funds and to show people do care, it’s okay to not be okay, and you’re not alone! One step after another.”

Jamie is one of hundreds of people participating in this year’s virtual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb: One Million Steps for Mental Health, encouraging firefighters and members of the public to climb at least 3,046 stairs during the course of a month and raise much-needed funds for mental health charities.

Participants are working toward collectively climbing ‘one million steps for mental health’ during this year’s event.

More than $2.4 million has been raised for a variety of charities since the first stair climb in 2014, with funds raised from this year’s event going towards Lifeline, the Black Dog Institute and the 000 Foundation.

For more information on the Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb, visit firefighterclimb.org.au.

CFA Members needing support can contact the Wellbeing Support Line on 1800 959 232