Mental health in spotlight

The important topic of mental health was highlighted at the University of South Australia Mount Gambier Campus public lecture last week.

The lecture, ‘Improving Mental Health and Identifying Tools for Suicide Prevention,’ was presented by Hope Assistance Local Tradies (HALT) co-founder Jeremy Forbes.

HALT is a grass-roots suicide prevention charity which was founded in 2013 after a tradesman in central Victoria died by suicide.

The national charity provides important information and support to tradespeople while reducing the stigma of mental health, raising awareness and helping start conversations.

Mr Forbes emphasised the importance of utilising mental health support services, being a good listener, not judging and having conversations and demonstrated a HALT talk.

Mr Forbes said he was happy with how everything went and he was very pleased with the event turnout, with members of the Longriders CMC also amongst the crowd.

“It was a cross-section of people from different parts of the community, they listened, they were engaged, they contributed to the talk and that makes me happy they could actually be a part of it,” he said.

“This is my second trip back here and it just shows how much the community wants change and they want change at a grassroots level.

“We work across regional and metropolitan, but I do know that it’s potentially harder to talk, especially in smaller towns, it’s harder to access services and it’s harder to get that support.

“So for me it’s like, okay, at least if we’re having the conversations, we’re starting the conversations, getting them to the doctor, talking about Lifeline, all that sort of stuff, there’s at least a start there.”

The Mount Gambier Campus held the event in conjunction with the Mount Gambier and Districts Suicide Prevention Network and StandBy Support After Suicide and Wellbeing SA were also involved.

People wanting to reach out can contact the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, Lifeline 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue 1300 224 636. If you are bereaved or impacted by suicide, please contact StandBy Support After Suicide on 1300 727 247.

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