Saving our mates with well-being roadshow

A free men’s well-being roadshow is heading to the Eyre Peninsula in February and March to tackle mental health in rural areas. 

The roadshow, called ‘Save Our Mates’ is an initiative from the Country SA Primary Health Network (PHN) and aims to tackle alarming statistics on mental health and suicide in men in regional and rural locations.

The first roadshow begins on the Yorke Peninsula before heading through Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, and finishing at Port Lincoln on February 22. 

It aims to relay lived experiences of speakers who have gone through mental health problems or suffered from depression. 

Speaker Anthony Hart aims to tell his story, and hopes the messages brought by other speakers Joe Williams and Jeremy Forbes will resonate with farmers, tradies, corporate workers, and those in the aquaculture industries too. 

“There are 200 recorded attempts at suicide each day in Australia,” he said.

“But double those figures, and that’s what the rural statistics are.” 

Mr Hart also said that nine out of 10 attempts were male, and said the roadshow hopes to get a message out to other men who may be struggling. 

“We want people to hear lived experiences of people who have gone through dark times, but confronted their issues and got back on top of things,” he said. 

He said the workshops aimed at shorter speaking times and a longer question-and-answer period.

“We’ve been chosen by the Primary Health Network to roll out this workshop, but not just to roll it out….we were given a blank canvas and we’ve designed and delivered a roadshow to cut through and make a difference,” he said. 

He said they were designed to be casual and laid back, with a free barbecue to begin the night. 

He said the most important thing was that there had to be information for people to takeaway for immediate help, and also information on how to spot signs when your mate is not doing well. 

“As males we do spot it in other blokes, and partners can spot it too….we have to let them know it is okay when things aren’t great in your mind...it’s like when something is wrong with any other part of your body, and it can be helped,” he said. 

The roadshow on February 22 is held at the Mallee Football Club from 5.30pm for a barbecue followed by a 6.30pm start, and returns again on March 22 for a morning workshop and free breakfast.

For more information about the event visit the Save Our Mates website at saveourmates.com.au 

If you or someone you know are suffering from depression, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit beyondblue at beyondblue.org.au.