Local initiative praised in parliament

Local mental wellbeing organisation Lifeboat SE was praised recently in State Parliament for its excellent work in supporting the local community.

Local Labor MLC Clare Scriven spoke about the organisation and its role in promoting “health-seeking behaviours” and reducing suicide.

“I was shocked when I first heard there are six suicides per month in our local region,” Ms Scriven said.

“That is a tragic statistic, especially when you think how many family members and friends are also affected.  We need to do all we can to reduce that heartbreak.”

Ms Scriven said local founding member Matthew Brookes, who she knew from high school days, established Lifeboat SE to see a more proactive approach to mental health in the local community.

Mr Brookes said the group was essentially “a life experienced group of mates” who provide information and resources for local people.

“I had my own challenges around mental health a few years ago and wanted to make sure there was an easier journey for other people experiencing similar things.  That’s what really motivated me to get this up and running,” he said.

Ms Scriven told Parliament about the community work being undertaken by Lifeboat SE.

“Lifeboat South-East has done talks at footy clubs, at church groups, at Rotary, to year 12s at school, to Women in Business and other business groups, all without charge,” she said.

“They do podcasts, which include local people talking about their lived experiences of depression or anxiety and they have invited me to talk about my experiences with postnatal depression, which I am looking forward to doing in the near future.”

Mr Brookes and Ms Scriven agreed that “with understanding, comes respect and support” – which is the mission statement for Lifeboat SE.

Lifeboat SE meets on the first Tuesday of each month, from 6:30-7:30pm in the foyer of Mount Gambier City Hall.

Visit lifeboatse.com for more information.

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