The Glove Box Guide to Mental Health was officially launched this morning at Orange City Library.
Dubbo builder Bruno Efoti almost brought the crowd to tears as he gave an impassioned talk about how he came to be a counsellor for tradies in the workplace.
Mr Efoti, who features in the guide, said he learnt an alarming statistic that tradies are six times more likely than people in other industries to suicide.
“We need to walk alongside one another,” he said.
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“Men need to show their emotions in front of their kids and help them navigate their feelings and emotions.”
The guide is produced by The Land, in partnership with the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), run by the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health.
The theme for the guide is Let’s Work Together, and all who spoke at the launch emphasised that need, especially during the current drought.
In launching the guide, Orange Mayor Red Kidd spoke of his own experiences with depression and anxiety, and that when he asked for help, he got support from everyone.
Mr Kidd said every person needed to learn Mental Health First Aid.
“We all think we’re tough skinned and we do tend to hide things,” he said.
“If people bring their story out, it does help others.”
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health director David Perkins said suicide prevention needed a whole of community approach.
“Mental health is not something for other people, it affects us all,” he said.
People valued the paper product of the guide, so they could sit and read it in their own time and take on board practical and helpful advice.
“These are real people’s stories,” he said.
Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies gave a video address to the 40-plus people assembled, including Calare MP Andrew Gee, and representatives of sponsors Safework NSW and iCare.
The Land editor Andrew Norris thanked the centre for its ongoing support, and said in the seven years the guide has been produced, about half a million copies have been published.