Mental health friends sought

Help needed: Lifeline Gippsland staff are calling for volunteers for the Friends of the Lifeline group. photograph hayley mills

Help needed: Lifeline Gippsland staff are calling for volunteers for the Friends of the Lifeline group. photograph hayley mills

Lifeline Gippsland is calling for volunteers from all walks of life to work alongside their staff to develop a new mental health and wellbeing project titled Mind the Valley.

The project aims to increase mental health awareness through conversations facilitated by staff and volunteers about mental health and wellbeing topics with community members.

Lifeline Gippsland community development officer Sam Forbes said volunteers would form the Friends of Lifeline Gippsland group and would be invited to help shape the program and facilitate conversations with community members.

"So we are asking people to come on board to help us design the conversation, have input into what those messages will sound like and also to come along and help have that conversation," he said.

"The key messages we'll be talking about in those conversations will be reducing the stigma around mental health, self-care and how to get help and how to look after each other, and the final one being that mental health is everyone's responsibility."

Mr Forbes said Lifeline Gippsland was looking for volunteers who were passionate about the mental health of their community.

"That element of people sharing their strengths and the way they cope is really a key part of it. There are a lot of messages out there, but this will be neighbours helping neighbours."

Lifeline Gippsland chief executive Michelle Possingham said community members would play an important role in shaping the project.

"I think we recognise that community members have a lot of valuable contribution to make even in terms of the questions that we ask," she said.

"I think often we, as professionals, sit down and we think we know the right questions and we think we know what the community need to hear. But so often it is the person living in the community [who] can help us shape those conversations so that we are getting the right answers and then we can take action based on those."

For more information visit llg.org.au, or phone Sam Forbes on 5136 3500. Email your expression of interest outlining your strengths to sam.forbes@llg.org.au by Sunday, July 22. 

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop