Big business joins Black Dog to boost rural service
A major rural employer has partnered with the Black Dog Institute to bring better mental health services to remote parts of WA.
Western Australia's main grain handler, the CBH Group, says it new partnership will focus on the education of key groups within the communities; professionals, adolescents, growers and business owners.
They will be the subjects of training programs and healthy living workshops.
CBH chief executive Andy Crane says the three-year partnership was sealed with a $450,000 commitment from the co-operative's community investment program.
“A recent survey of growers in early 2014 on how they wanted to see some of the funds focused and almost half our growers surveyed saw mental health as one of the highest priorities,” Dr Crane told reporters this week.
“It was striking for me to learn that Australian men in regional areas are two-and-a-half times more likely to die by suicide than their urban counterparts, so [we are] getting some health professionals additionally skilled up. I'm sure they've got some good skills, but [we want] to add and grow that skill base, particularly recognition.”
CBH could even look at broadening the program.
“We're also going to be inviting some of our own CBH staff and members of the wider community who've experienced mental illness one way or another to sharing their personal stories and become trained as Black Dog Institute volunteer presenters,” Dr Crane said.
“So hopefully it's going to leave a lasting legacy by involving as wide a section of the community as we can.”