Firefighters invited to improve mental health with Flinders Ranges wildlife trek

Dogs at Pundulum
Dogs at Pundulum

The success of last year's Trojan's Trek, which saw emergency first responders spend five days in the wilderness of the Flinders Ranges and tackle their mental health, has prompted organisers to host another trek this April.

In September last year first responders were invited to join in this specially designed trek in response to the dreadful fires that impacted many communities, particularly on Kangaroo Island.

This was a first time organisation had opened their doors to first responders; traditionally hosting treks for military veterans.

The Trojan's Trek Foundation Board this week announced it will conduct another completely free, second trek for first responders from 18 to 23 April which will be based in the North Flinders Ranges at Moolooloo Station.

Trojan's Trek founder Moose Dunlop OAM will again be the event's operations director and said he was hoping to attract about 12 or 15 participants including those who had been affected by bushfires on Kangaroo Island.

Mr Dunlop is an Army veteran who completed a 13-month tour in Vietnam and is also a 20-year firefighter, who spent time fighting the KI fires last summer.

He said the decision to open the trek to first responders was in response to the dreadful fires that impacted many communities, particularly on Kangaroo Island.

Participants from last year's first responders trek have given high praise to the experience and the accredited team that runs the event.

"Since Trojans Trek I have been able to handle stressful situations better," one participant said.

"I am less reactive and anger levels have reduced. Instead of playing out imaginary arguments in my head I am able to catch myself before I ruin my mood.

"I am also more empathetic and am able to see things better from other people's perspective. I have noticed is that I am a much better listener and far more comfortable with silence.

The objectives of the trek are to develop in the participants through joint and individual challenge:

  • an understanding of how thoughts and feelings influence behaviour
  • exposure to various strategies which will bring about positive change
  • suggested individual responses which are effective in achieving the aim
  • enhance self esteem

Email or call Moose Dunlop on moose@trojanstrek.com or 0408 088 886

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