WIMMERA police are helping raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder through a statewide campaign.
Victorian officer Glenn Holland was motivated to start Fighting PTSD Vicpol after a family friend serving in the force took his own life.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Holland said discussions with another officer, who took leave from work for the disorder 18 months ago, revealed there were long waiting periods for people seeking treatment.
He set out to raise $30,000 to address this, and for a specialised emergency services PTSD clinic. He has now reached his goal.
Horsham Police Station donated more than $2000 in memory of former members Gavin Frew and Ryan Margetts, who died last year.
Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts said the campaign was an amazing initiative.
“Horsham suffered a fair bit of trauma across our team in 2017,” he said.
“Some of our members wanted to do some fundraising, which I and many other members, their families and community members were very happy to donate to.
“The money will go towards more training and support services, and raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also about raising awareness for members’ families, and signs they might look for.”
Horsham members hosted a barbecue and also donated the cost of attending the station’s social club Christmas function to the campaign.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Holland said other fundraising ranged from units hosting morning teas, to members organising a mountain bike day, and a member dedicating a marathon race to the campaign and raising more than $1000.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Holland himself has competed in a range of events to raise money, including half-marathon triathlons, and the Victoria Police and Emergency Services Games duathlon.
He will compete in the duathlon again this year.
To date, he has swam, rode and ran more than 5700 kilometres in the name of fighting post-traumatic stress disorder.
Though he has reached his fundraising goal, his important work will continue.
“Too many members are taking their own life and suffering in silence,” he said.
“As my campaign proves, no one knows what our members are thinking or feeling, and we need to be able ask for help.
“My campaign will always be to raise awareness for our members to seek help.
“I know the Blue Ribbon Foundation mental health fund is growing, and Neil Soullier from Blue Ribbon is working very hard behind the scenes to get a specific hospital ward for members to have a safe and secure environment to receive treatment.”
If you, or someone you know, needs help, call Lifeline on 13 14 11; MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78; or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.