Geraldton Suicide Prevention Action Group marks the start of Mental Health Week

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Julie Christoffersen, Elizabeth Lockyer, Isabel Ross, Dane Waters and Rohan Prowse.
Camera IconJulie Christoffersen, Elizabeth Lockyer, Isabel Ross, Dane Waters and Rohan Prowse. Credit: Derek Goforth

Members of Geraldton Suicide Prevention Action Group gathered along Geraldton’s foreshore on Saturday for an event marking the start of Mental Health Week, which involved games, crafts, live music and plenty of chat.

The group’s mission is to “reduce suicide in our community through encouraging conversation about suicide and raising awareness about prevention strategies”.

Started in 2017, GSPAG holds and participates in regular events, including the Mid West Banner Trail earlier this year which saw them make a banner asking the question “What does the world need to hear?”

They also hold regular “walks and talks’, where they gather and offer people an opportunity to converse and socialise with others.

As with many groups of this nature, volunteers are key and two of GSPAG’s volunteers are Rohan Prowse and Liz Lockyer.

“I connected with GSPAG three years ago when I was doing some research and was invited to come to one meeting. And here I still am, because it is important to be part of a volunteer group that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives,” Mr Prowse said. “We are always having significant, life-changing conversations.”

Ms Lockyer spoke about her passion for mental health.

“I’ve been a GSPAG volunteer for about four years now. I volunteer because suicide prevention and mental health promotion have always been a passion of mine, which has grown since I also started working in the area,” she said. “I love getting community together and having important conversations, and volunteering with a group of really lovely people is also great for my mental health.”

When working in the community, GSPAG also provides referrals to a range of services available for those who may need them.

The group believes that “we all have a role to play, and we know communities are healthier when people regularly connect.”

Mental Health Week runs until October 15.

Lifeline 13 11 14

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

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