Stepping up in support of mental health

Pic of Tom Greaney, who is doing a steps challenge to raise money for mental health charities through the CFA. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 215756_02

Ewen McRae

While locals are spending more time indoors than ever, one firefighter isn’t letting that stop him stepping up to a physical challenge.

Caroline Springs CFA Lieutenant Tom Greaney is taking part in the annual Melbourne Firefighter Stair Climb, helping to raise funds and awareness for mental health charities.

While the climb normally involves firefighters climbing the Crown Metropol tower in full kit and breathing apparatus, this year participants will aim to collectively climb one million steps over the next month.

Mr Greaney is doing the challenge for the fourth straight year, and aims to complete 3046 climbing steps by October 10, World Mental Health day.

“I use the steps at the local park, and I head down and climb my steps every day,“ he said.

“I’m actually aiming for 6092 steps personally, which would be two steps for every suicide in the past 12 months, and this year more than ever I think being aware and looking after your mental health is more important.

“Doing my 150 or 200 steps a day isn’t all that hard, but I think it’s more the routine of doing it every day and getting the message of the challenge out there.“

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.

Mr Greaney said he had raised almost $700 this year, and hoped more people would take part in future years.

“It’s a different time for people at the moment, but I wanted to make sure I was still taking the time to be involved,“ he said.

“I really do hope we can grow this and get a few more taking part when this comes around next year.“

Ewen McRae