News and Media

Participant Stories: “Not a Patch on Wilsons Prom”

Out Doors Inc. participant stories - Wilson's Prom


By Bernie McCormick

August marks Bernie’s involvement in Out Doors Inc for thirty years, and he reflected on this with Mo recently.  

“That’s half a lifetime! I first did a 3-month program in 1991 when Out Doors was in Napier Street in the back of the church building.

Tim added; “Tim, Nancy and Vic were the staff at the time. Years of respite, adventure, good times and wonderful people have followed. I am a bit spun out by this!”

Bernie has kindly penned a piece on one of his favourite places, Wilsons Promontory. A beautiful, honest piece about the importance of dreams and self-care and the part nature plays in the management of our mental health and well-being.

The beautiful coastline of Wilson’s Prom by Bernie McCormick
Exploring the beaches of Wilson’s Prom by Bernie McCormick

Thank you, Bernie.

Like many people at Out Doors Inc, one of my favourite places is Wilsons Prom.

Also like other people with a mental health diagnosis, I have read extensively about mental illness and new or different ways to see it and try to learn about it in order to overcome its effects in my life.

I heard about Patch Adams, the clown doctor from America and the different ways in which he looks at life, health and happiness. I read his book “Gesundheit” which is German for ‘good health’ and is also the name of his free hospital that is currently being built.

In his book he talks about how he spends a whole day with a new patient, with as much talk about their hopes and dreams, instead of all strictly medical information.

In the book he relates a story of spending a day with a woman who suffered from very painful arthritis.

At the end of the day they sat down together to watch the sunset.
Patch asked her… “Do you have arthritis when you watch a sunset?”
…”No” she replied.

Patch said “Then watching sunsets is now part of your treatment.”

I remember a trip to Wilsons Prom with Out Doors. It was my first real holiday for about six years. I remember swimming in Norman Bay.

It was a hot summers’ day, on a clean white beach, in crystal clear water, surrounded by bushland.

And I thought…. “This has got to be part of my treatment.”

Wilson’s Prom, by Bernie McCormick

Every month, Out Doors Inc. gives our Participants a chance to share their stories and passion projects. If you’d like to learn more or get involved, contact us at

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