This year Mental Health Week was from 8th-15th of October. During the week communities hold programs and events to raise awareness of mental health, with a focus on suicide prevention. Suicide is a leading cause of death for males and females aged between 15 to 44 in Australia (ABS, 2008). Almost eight Australians take their own lives every day (ABS, 2016). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are twice as likely to die by suicide (ABS, 2015).
Our HCR team, Dane Waters and Celeste Larkins, based in Geraldton, travel to communities in the Mid West, Murchison and Gascoyne and support the community to address local issues through community media. They know too well that mental health and suicide prevention is a main issue in all the communities they work, particularly for Aboriginal people.
Along with the continuing work HCR do to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention in rural and remote WA, in the lead up for Mental Health Week, Dane and Celeste assisted the local Geraldton suicide prevention working group to develop community service announcements (CSAs). These were broadcast through Radio MAMA and Meeka FM.
HCR also supported an event held in Geraldton, and were part of an outside broadcast put on by Radio MAMA. Community members and service providers participated in the broadcast. This ensured information not only reached Geraldton, but also Mullewa, Meekatharra and Carnarvon.
If you want more information on mental health visit: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ or see your local GP.