Emergency management, defence and community to walk for mental health awareness

20 April 2021

On Saturday 24 April 2021, emergency management personnel, defence force personnel and supporting members of the public will walk around St Patrick’s College in Ballarat to raise awareness of depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Walking off the war within challenge was inspired by returned soldier and firefighter Nathan Shanahan, who tragically lost his life to PTSD in 2016. The year before, he had walked over 400 kilometres from Mildura to Adelaide with a 20-kilogram pack to advocate for mental health awareness and support.

Now in its fifth year, Walking off the war within was initiated by Nathan’s friend, Mildura leading firefighter Adam Young, along with firefighter Josh Martin from Ballarat. Adam and Josh both received the CFA’s Commendation for Service in 2019 for their leadership in establishing the event.

The walk aims to bring colleagues, friends and family together and start conversations about mental health. It also promotes support services, including the Black Dog Institute, Soldier On, Survivors of Suicide and Trek2Health, which are community partners of the event.

For more about the Ballarat event, visit Walking off the war within – Ballarat 2021 (External link).

If you need support, you can find helpful links on the Emergency Services Foundation website (External link).