MUSWELLBROOK Shire mayor Martin Rush, schools and sporting clubs are calling on the community to join them at a public forum in Scone that will highlight how the entire district can work together to reduce suicide and improve the mental health of our children.
Positive Education has been identified as one of the best ways to make this happen.
And, on Monday, November 28, an information session will take place at Scone High School from 6.30pm to 8.30pm to explain how the Upper Hunter can give children the skills they need to flourish and to cope with whatever life may throw at them.
With suicide claiming the lives of seven Australians every day and one in four of every person aged 16-24 suffering a mental health disorder, the forum will see world leading experts on mental health showcase how schools, parents, sporting clubs, councils and other key organisations will need to work together to shift these statistics.
The evening is being hosted by the Where There’s a Will Foundation, which supports and facilitates the delivery of recognised positive education programs to schools in the Upper Hunter.
“We need everyone in our community to support this campaign to improve the future of our children because the Positive Education lessons they’ll be learning at school need to be reinforced everywhere they go – at home, on the sporting field, even when they’re saying g’day to people in the streets,” Cr Rush said.
“No other community in Australia is doing what we’re trying to do.
“Where There’s A Will is giving the Upper Hunter a unique opportunity to take a community-based response to addressing mental health problems and it is our hope that we can then provide a blueprint for other areas wanting to follow our lead.
“Improving the mental health of our children could be the most important thing we ever do together as a community.
‘We very much hope that as many people as possible can attend this very significant forum in Scone.
“So often people want to know what they can do to help - this is your time, this is your chance.”
Pauline Carrigan, her husband Hilton, and their family established the Where There’s a Will Foundation after their son, Will, took his own life on Christmas Day, 2015.
Their charity’s goal is to try and address the mental health crisis facing the Upper Hunter.
“We will not sit idly by while another generation of children fall victim to this debilitating disease in any of its forms; anxiety, anorexia, substance abuse, self-harm, lack of self-worth, and suicide,” she said.
“Evidence exists that we can psychologically immunise our children just as we do (for) measles and mumps, against mental illness.”
Further information on the forum can be found at www.uhwheretheresawill.com.au or www.facebook.com/uhwheretheresawill
Or, to attend the forum, email email@example.com or contact Andrea Burns on 0438 130 872.