The inspiring Mornington Peninsula based “Wilderwomen” team are gearing up to take on the 60km trek on their home turf. Caitie, Beth, Temay and Kristen all work in Outdoor and Environmental Education so they know the powerful impact nature has on our health and wellbeing – and that’s what we are all about at Coastrek!
“Participating in this year’s Coastrek gives us a chance to come together as women and friends both to support each other and to contribute to a larger story of support for others,” says team captain, Caitie.
Asked why they chose to take on the 60km distance: “We all just thought ‘Why not?!’ None of our team really do things by halves, so we decided to push ourselves and see how we go. Our team captain, Caitie, has previously walked the 60km trail and the rest of us are keen hikers, so it was fitting that we opted for the longest distance given that we feel so strongly about the cause and enjoy spending time together. Our feet are already nervous!”
Having completed the 60km Coastrek before Caitie knows the camaraderie, pride and connection to others that the training and event provides and she is motivated to support mental health awareness:
“Beyond Blue is an organisation I feel highly motivated to support, having witnessed the effects of mental health challenges throughout my life, in myself, close family and friends. My Mum is a retired Mica Paramedic and has suffered from PTSD as a result of her career. I am very proud of her and her selflessness in helping people through the hardest time of their lives, at the sacrifice of her own mental health. She has bravely sought help and now lives a full and happy life, however PTSD is not something that will ever completely disappear.
Being aware of the mental health challenges people face and how to seek the help that is available, is key to supporting our family and friends. It’s not enough to simply ask ‘are you ok?’, it’s important to know what to do when someone answers ‘no’, and this is where an organisation such as Beyond Blue play a key role.”
Beth adds: “The motivation to get involved also comes from working in education and seeing a rise in anxiety, depression and disconnection. My hope is that by participating in Coastrek, it will help contribute to the advocacy and support of mental health, and that this in turn will have an impact on how we nurture young people as best we can, including the ways we do so in our education system.
“All of us have had a challenging year personally so our goal is to support one another and walk beside hundreds of other women, all there to encourage each other on the event day.”