Ararat Fire Brigade’s Jeydon Nancarrow is preparing to conquer 28 flights of stairs whilst wearing 25kg of firefighting equipment to fight suicide, depression and PTSD.
The Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb is being held at the Crown Metropol Hotel on September 7, with the hope of raising a combined $700,000 by all participants.
Money raised will be donated to the Emergency Services Foundation, Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute to improve support services, fund research, remove stigmas and raise awareness of Mental health issues, especially for those within the Emergency Service and Defence communities.
Nancarrow has a personal connection to the cause, experiencing mental health issues after attending confronting accidents earlier in the year.
“I’m currently having some mental health issues due to some incidents we had on Good Friday, that’s probably the main drive for me at the moment,” he said.
“It’s just to do that and raise some funds for the charities that we are giving money to and create some awareness that it’s okay to seek help.”
Event Director Steve Axup said previous climbs have been a “tremendous success,” raising more than $1.8 Million for burns, cancer, children’s health and mental health charities in the last 5 years.
“This year our firefighters are aiming to raise $700,000 to fund research, improve support services, remove stigmas and raise awareness of these pressing Mental Health issues,” he said.
“The statistics are quite alarming with 1 in 4 Australians suffering from a mental illness in their lifetime, eight people a day die by suicide and 10% of Emergency Services suffering the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Injury.”
Since starting his campaign, Nancarrow has raised well over his initial $1,000 goal. He has $1,660 in the kitty with nine days until the climb, although, preparation hasn’t been made easy.
“Due to mental health demons, I haven’t been really doing a lot. Just walking up one tree hill and going to the gym when I can,” Nancarrow said.
“Unfortunately, with the line of work we’re in – both volunteer or paid – in all emergency services, we see a lot of different things that do sometimes end up taking a toll on an individual.”
“We don’t want anyone to suffer in silence and it is ok to speak up.”
“I’m trying to show that it’s actually good to seek help. Currently, I am seeking help with counselling and my message is that it is okay and I’m trying to show people that it’s okay.”
Anyone wanting to support Jeydon Nancarrow is encouraged to visit his campaign page to donate.
If you, or someone you know, needs help:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
- Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
-Producer & Anchor
-Founder of AC News in 2017