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CBH Group invests $300,000 into WA regional mental health


The CBH Group has committed a further $300,000 into regional mental wellness programs in Western Australia as it extends its partnership with the Black Dog Institute for two years.

The mental wellness program will continue to focus on WA grain growers and their communities with an increased  focus on mental health conversations told through lived experience.

Rugby League great, Wayne Wigham, will share his battle with the black dog of depression in the sessions, which are focused on raising awareness of mood disorders and the importance of early detection and treatment.

Wayne’s personal journey highlights that depression does not discriminate and can strike anyone, even those performing at an elite level.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, on average one person dies every day by suicide in Western Australia with regional areas more affected. In 2015, the suicide rate was 13.8 per 100,000 people in the greater Perth area and 19.8 per 100,000 people for the rest of the state.

CBH Chairman Wally Newman, a Newdegate farmer, said the objective of the sessions was to remove the stigma attached to mental illness, and encourage regional people, particularly men, to seek help if they experience mental distress.

“While agriculture is a great industry and our country towns have strong communities, farmers do it tough from time to time, particularly in poor seasons,” Mr Newman said.

“Men in remote and rural communities are at greater risk of suicide compared with their city counterparts.”

Over the past three years nearly 200 West Australian grain growers and community members and over 3,500 students have participated in the mental wellness program.

A key component of the program has also been to engage with regional West Australian GP’s and health professionals to provide evidence-based training to ensure they are armed with the best possible tools for diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management.

Over the next two years the mental wellness programs will continue to build on the existing work already in place by a variety of organisations, which have done an outstanding job in offering resources to regional people and reducing the stigma of mental illness.

The program will be delivered by Black Dog Institute clinicians and volunteers in partnership with local presenters.

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