This can take a heavy toll, and tragically, there is a prevalence of mental health issues amongst our current and former officers.
The Head to Head Fundraising Walk is about demonstrating the commitment of Victoria Police and The Police Association of Victoria (TPAV) to supporting current and past serving officers affected by such issues. It recognises that once a person retires from policing, they are still considered part of the Victoria Police family and their wellbeing continues to be a priority for our organisations.
Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton and a TPAV team lead by Secretary Wayne Gatt will come together from opposite sides of Victoria, covering a combined 1,000km on foot to raise awareness of this important issue, as well as much needed funding for past serving officers who are unable to access the same level of support as those still serving with Victoria Police.
Over three weeks they will walk the roads with a range of co-workers, former police, and the community, meeting ‘head to head’ in Wangaratta. Along the way they will visit police stations and participate in events with local communities.
“It is vitally important to provide support to our officers and I wanted to do something that acknowledges our former police, and the mental health battles that they can experience.”
Graham Ashton, AM
“This walk represents an acknowledgement of the struggle that many of our members have and do face every day, and our commitment to help them however we can to emerge from the dark times.”
Mr Wayne Gatt
The 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. More information can be found at retiredpeersupport.com.au. The longer term focus is to provide additional support and access to services, that will complement the RPSO program.