Victoria will host the biggest Coastrek event in history, with more than 4,500 people hiking tomorrow in support of the Beyond Blue Support Service.
Melbourne Coastrek will see thousands of participants tackle a 30km or 60km hike along the stunning Mornington Peninsula on Friday, 21 May, after last year’s event was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Trekkers last year instead participated in the first ever Virtual Coastrek, walking close to home and practicing physical distancing to observe COVID restrictions in place at the time.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman thanked participants for flocking back to the in-person event.
“Victorians have had a pretty rough time over the past 12 months and it’s brilliant to see Melbourne Coastrek come back stronger than ever,” Ms Harman said.
“2020 reminded us of how important feeling connected is for our mental health. Tomorrow we’re lucky enough to do this face to face, trekking in nature, talking about mental health, and raising vitals funds for the Beyond Blue Support Service.
“The service is still seeing record demand as the challenges of the past 12 months continue to impact people’s lives, so I thank the trekkers and everyone who has donated for their continued support.”
Georgie will be walking the 30km trek with a team including ABC Journalist, Virginia Trioli.
Di Westaway OAM, Wild Women On Top Coastrek Founder said, “We’re over the moon to see thousands of fabulously flourishing Victorian women (and men!) relishing the opportunity to challenge themselves and get fit together in the outdoors.”
“Coastrek is one of the most spectacular ways trekkers can support their mental health, fitness and help others at the same time.
“Our Melbourne Coastrekkers have blown us away with their resilience and we can’t wait to cheer them on.”
Melbourne Coastrek hikers aim to raise $2,500,000 this year for the Beyond Blue Support Service, which will fund free, immediate and confidential counselling, advice and referrals for over 52,000 people via phone and online.
The service saw a 42 per cent increase in calls across Australia in 2020.
To support an individual or team, visit coastrek.com.au/trekkers
The Beyond Blue Support Service is available via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3PM – 12AM AEST or email responses within 24 hours).
The new Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Service is available 24/7 at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au. Its dedicated phone line, staffed by mental health professionals briefed on the pandemic response, is now open on 1800 512 348.