Mental health conversation started

Mental health conversation started

Mental health advocate Nic Newling recently presented his public lecture ‘Speaking of Mental Health…’ at the University of South Australia Mount Gambier Campus.

The event, funded by Ski for Life, attracted one of the largest audiences so far at a UniSA Mount Gambier public lecture which was held in conjunction with StandBy Support After Suicide and the Mount Gambier and Districts Suicide Prevention Network.

Mr Newling works professionally within the mental health field and has had personal experience with mental health, including a mood disorder throughout high school and losing his brother to suicide.

Mr Newling said he loved being able to connect with everyone who attended and to also have people join in via livestream.

“It just kind of goes to show how important these issues are to the community of Mount Gambier, but everywhere, really,” he said.

“It was just a great opportunity to talk about mental illness and suicide, topics that are often left unspoken about and doing it in a way which brought the idea of postvention into the conversation and that was really through the work of StandBy Support After Suicide.”

Mr Newling said it was important to hold an event like this in Mount Gambier because he was aware there had been many issues in the region with people suiciding.

“I know there’s not any one event or one thing that people can do which will magically cure everything,” Mr Newling said.

“But I also know that if we are going to be able to help more people and address these things more openly it really does require having some sort of a conversation around it.

“If I can in some way offer a little bit of a nudge along to people to continue having these conversations or to start having them then that’s what is really important to me.”

UniSA Mount Gambier regional manager Ian McKay said the university was privileged to assist facilitating Mr Newling as the guest speaker for the July public lecture.

“Suicide is a significant issue in society and there would be few in our community who have not been touched in some way by suicide,” Mr McKay said.

“UniSA Mount Gambier values actively supporting our community and we were pleased to partner with Standby and Mount Gambier and District Suicide Prevention Network for Nic’s presentation.”

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