fbpx Skip to main content

About Us

Hike to Heal Australia

Hike to Heal Australia is a not for profit suicide prevention organisation inspiring communities to strengthen wellbeing while walking beside people dealing with mental ill health and suicide loss towards hope, healing and connection.

Hike to Heal Australia arose out of a family tragedy. On November 2nd 2016, the Barton Family lost their son, brother and friend to suicide. Nick Pope was a fun-loving, kind-hearted person who enjoyed a joke and relished making others laugh. His death was both unexpected and devastating to those who knew him. The lives of his family, friends and work colleagues were impacted by inconsolable loss, grief, and regret.

Research demonstrated that Nick was only one of eight other Australians that died of suicide that day. Sixty-five thousand (65,000) others contemplated taking their own life that year.

Hike to Heal Australia was established by the Barton’s in memory of Nick, their much-loved son.  The Barton’s, looking for a way to make meaning out of their loss, seek to destigmatise suicide, raise community awareness and promote connection, created Hike to Heal Australia in collaboration with a small group of family & friends.

The Hike to Heal Scavenger Hike is Hike to Heal Australia’s flagship event, unique to the Toowoomba Region.  It is an interactive hiking event for all levels of fitness and hiking experience.  Hikers have fun following clues on the Mt Peel Nature Reserve to find natural treasures and solve riddles as they walk along the trail.

Hike to Heal Australia, through its Scavenger Hike, embraces and promotes the following simple mental well-being stepping stones:

Walking Through Grief –
Grief and Suicide Loss

Suicide bereavement can be an incredibly difficult experience but is not something you have to go through alone. Talking about grief and loss with family and friends may help but sometimes it may be necessary to get some extra support from a health professional.

The hiking trail was the birthplace of Hike to Heal Australia.

It is said grief is a journey best travelled on foot. Movies such as “Wild” and “The Way”  depict long, arduous treks prompted by personal loss.

Yet walking doesn’t have to be so gruelling or outwardly dramatic to be physically or mentally beneficial.

Walking in nature helps you feel connected to the present and boosts your mood. Walking also symbolically allows a sense of moving forward, one step at a time.