Head to Head for police mental health

Head to Head for police mental health

Chief Commissioner of Police, Graham Ashton, and Police Association of Victoria Secretary (TPAV), Wayne Gatt, each set off on walks on Monday and their aim was simple - to support police mental health.

With Commissioner Ashton setting off with his team from Mallacoota and Mr Gatt leading his team from Mildura, the two will come together from opposite sides of the state in the Head to Head Fundraising walk that will cover a combined 1000 kilometres on foot.

Over three weeks they will walk the roads with a range of co-walkers joining them from Victoria Police, TPAV and the community, meeting ‘head to head’ in Wangaratta on October 23.

Along the way they will visit police stations and participate in events with local communities to help broaden awareness and raise much needed funds to support former police officers affected by mental health issues.

This Friday, Commissioner Ashton and his team will head for the coast for a rest day in Marlo where Russell Bates and the Marlo Hotel crew will be sponsoring accommodation and meals for the walkers.

“This is a really good cause and our hotel is supporting the effort,” Mr Bates said.

“We will run a bit of a fundraiser here on Friday night to raise a few extra dollars locally for the cause and the team will be there to answer questions and fill the locals in on this great cause.”

If previous fundraising events at the hotel are anything to go by, this Friday night will certainly be a fun and interesting one to attend.

Then on Sunday, Commissioner Ashton and Orbost Police invite the community to get involved with a free barbecue from 12 to 1pm in Orbost’s Forest Park. Local emergency vehicles will be on display and local community leaders will provide presentations, as will Commissioner Ashton.

Funds raised through the walk will be used in direct support of the Victoria Police Provident Fund’s new Mental Health Fund, and will initially focus on supporting the vital volunteer service provided by the Retired Peer Support Officer (RPSO) program.

To learn more about the Head to Head walk and to support it by make a donation, visit Head to Head Fundraising Walk online.