Toowoomba, Queensland – Linda and Jim Barton founded Hike to Heal, a week-long scavenger hunt hike, to raise funds and awareness for Momentum Mental Health, a not-for-profit organisation that provides mental health and wellbeing services to anyone in need. The event was born from the tragic loss of their son Nick, who took his own life in 2016. This year’s event took place between the 18th and 26th of February and encouraged participants to get outside and walk, ride, or hike either at Mount Peel or in an outdoor area of their choice.
Hike to Heal raised $5000.00 for Momentum Mental Health, supporting the charity’s mission to remove barriers to accessing mental health and wellbeing services in the community. “This money is pivotal for our organisation to be able to work with anyone who has the courage to put their hand up and ask for help,” said Debbie Bailey, CEO of Momentum Mental Health.
Participants were encouraged to have fun while following clues on the Mt Peel Bushland Reserve to find natural treasures, complete photo challenges, and solve riddles as they walked along the trail. Wendy Green, Communications and Partnerships Manager at Momentum Mental Health, personally completed the Hike to Heal with a couple of her fellow team members and their young families. “We immediately saw the benefits of walking and chatting and discovering new things along the trail, which we were encouraged to do via clues provided by the Hike to Heal participant pack,” she said.
A very special addition to the hike was the Tribute Tree, made by the West Toowoomba Men’s Shed. It allowed participants to dedicate their walk to a loved one or offer words of encouragement by writing on the tree’s leaf-shaped memory tags.
Hike to Heal aims to add value to the community by raising awareness about and destigmatising mental health and suicide. Through their efforts, Linda and Jim Barton honour the memory of their son Nick and prevent other families from experiencing the same indescribable grief.
For more information about Hike to Heal, please visit their website at hiketoheal.com.au.