Full house at mental health workshop
A TURNOUT of more than 70 people to a mental health workshop has shown the issue is at the forefront of minds in the Clarence Valley community.
North Coast Primary Health Network's Wendy Pannach, who is also the spokesperson for the Our Healthy Clarence project, said there was a great mix of representatives from every sector of the community at Monday's workshop at Grafton District Services Club.
"In the meeting, the thing that really stuck out was generally just the positivity and enthusiasm," she said.
"I hope there's a sense that things are happening, because they are.
"Some stuff we can't wait for, and don't need to wait to be able to do, like providing training to the community."
Already a mental health first aid training calendar has been drawn up for the first quarter of next year, with courses to be provided by the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and CRANES.
"We want to be doing as much as we're planning," Ms Pannach said.
"We created working groups. We've had no conversation about funding yet, as everyone is busy identifying what we can do with existing resources.
"The next step is to add another layer of detail to the plan."
New School of Arts general manager Skye Sear, who has nominated to be a part of two draft plan working groups, said she thought the meeting was really positive.
"I think there's lots of people in the community that want to contribute to solutions - people are always willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done," she said.
Ms Sear said her involvement in the plan, moving forward, would be focused largely on community engagement and creating safe spaces for people to go.
Implementation of some strategies under these banners may be assisted by funding from Morgan Pilley's recent mental health bike ride.
"It's been an awesome success this year; we are nudging goal of $7000 which is twice what we raised last year," Ms Sear said.
"Last year all of funding went into youth mental health training. We're looking at that again but there are also other things we can do.
"All the way through the process there's been lots of talk about inter-generational type stuff and leveraging off existing community assets.
'"That will be a conversation we have over the next couple of months."
She added that Mr Pilley would also have a big say in what initiatives the money went towards.
You can still donate to Morgan Pilley's cause here.
If you are in need of help yourself, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or go to www.lifeline.org.au.