60 Hour Walk for PTSD and OSI

Sgt. Rob Farrer on the Rail Trail.

Realities of working in the first responder industry can weigh heavily on officers which can often cause Operational Stress Injuries that are synonymous with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These injuries can be specific but are not limited to traumatic events experienced in the line of duty, or while performing work-related tasks.

On Sunday October 6th, at 7:00 am, Sgt. Rob Farrer, of the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP, will set out on a 239 km walk to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health associated to post traumatic stress disorders, amongst first responders.

Sgt. Farrer will begin at the Vernon RCMP detachment and walk to the Okanagan Rail Trail entrance on Kalavista Drive. From there, Sgt. Farrer will walk along the rail trial to Oyama, around Wood Lake and back until he reaches his goal. Sgt. Farrer estimates this journey will take him over 60 hours to complete.

“More and more research is showing that the number of police officers with PTSD or related Occupational Stress Injuries is well over double that of the general public and sadly this often leads to significant decreases in quality of life of both the officers and their families.” States RCMP Sgt. Rob Farrer. “While not always curable, PTSD can be dealt with in a positive way in order to achieve a meaningful life. The first step is to reach out for help”.

Courageous Companions is a service dog program, created by OSI- CAN, who helps members suffering from long-term OSI’s, PTSD and other related issues, acquire service dogs to provide support and aid in their recovery. The cost of acquiring and training OSI service dogs is approximately $25,000.

To support Sgt. Farrer on his quest to raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding mental health you can visit his gofundme page.