WIRADJURI man and former National Rugby League player Joe Williams will be speaking about mental health and suicide prevention over breakfast next week.
Organised by the Mildura Suicide Prevention Trial Project, the initiative will give attendees the chance to enjoy a bacon-and-egg breakfast while listening to Mr Williams talk about his journey of mental wellbeing as part of Mental Health Month.
Mr Williams will then hold a motivational speech at the Robinvale Football Netball Club at 6pm the same day.
Throughout his life, Mr Williams has struggled with addiction, mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
He said he was a “firm believer” that the conversation had to happen all year round.
“Everyone is keyed in to talking about mental health during Mental Health Week or Month, but people are affected by mental health issues all year round,” he said.
“I aim to normalise the conversation and let people know that it’s OK to have these conversations at any time.”
Trial co-ordinator, Murray PHN’s Merryl Whyte said the event provided a great opportunity for the community to come together, especially men.
“Suicide is the 10th-ranked leading cause of death for males nationally,” she said.
“We all experience low times in our life and sometime we feel that we are the only person who has ever felt that way.
“The fear of speaking up really gets in the way of our moving past the low point, and that is particularly a problem when that low point is suicidality.”
Ms Whyte said that Joe’s story demonstrated that even through the toughest of times and the lowest of lows, there were ways to cope.
“As Joe will discuss, that is not easy – but it is possible, even when faced with suicidal thinking,” she said.
“This is a message that we all need to hear.”
The Enemy Within event will be held at the Working Man’s Club, Mildura, on October 16 from 7.30am-9am.
Tickets are $15 and include a bacon-and-egg breakfast, and tea or coffee.
If you are in an emergency or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.
Other services include Lifeline, 13 13 14 and The Enemy Within suicide prevention and wellbeing education.
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