Shire of Meekatharra begins Wellbeing Stories YouTube video series for suicide prevention and youth motivation

Jessica MoroneyMidwest Times
Keely O’Callaghan, 17, and Reuben Walsh, 14 of Meekatharra.
Camera IconKeely O’Callaghan, 17, and Reuben Walsh, 14 of Meekatharra. Credit: Jessica Moroney

A new video series supporting suicide prevention has hit YouTube, with young locals from a Murchison town sharing their motivational inspiration to keep healthy out bush.

The Shire of Meekatharra released a new series called Wellbeing Stories, filmed by Geraldton-based Health Communication Resources last year, as part of a suicide prevention initiative funded by WA Primary Health Alliance.

The most recent video shared to Facebook last week features two friends who participate in activities together and the Shire’s youth sport and recreation officer, Lachlan McDonald.

“We have access to some of the most beautiful land, even water. Even though it’s a pretty dry place, we have so many natural beauties,” Mr McDonald said.

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“There’s nothing quite like fresh air.”

Reuben Walsh, 14, said “going on walks by myself sometimes” or going to pick up his friend, Keely O’Callaghan, was how he stayed healthy in the semi-remote town.

“I mainly just come here and play basketball, run around and do all that stuff,” Keely, 17, said.

Mr McDonald said Reuben and Keely joined the youth program and had since “led by example”, offering their own form of support in the community.

“They won’t go about and big note themselves for what they do, but they’ll come in and offer to referee a game or help a crying kid get home,” he said.

“Taking ownership of themselves in the community, and being strong enough to say no to people who might choose to make different decisions. That can be really challenging in a small town with peer pressure and social media. Those boys have real strength to be able to say no.”

Mr McDonald said helping young people stay motivated, picking them up, taking them home and being a safety net was the most important part of role modelling youth in regional towns.

“People who grow up in a small town have the perception they don’t have the activities to join,” he said.

“It’s important for those in the remotes who don’t have mental health services to know they have a safe place and a familiar face.”

To watch the video, visit Youtube.

Lifeline 13 11 14

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

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