The mission of the Mental Awareness Foundation (MAf) is to support charities that are working directly with communities, who are implementing strategies to raise awareness of depression and mental illness while supporting the preservation of life. In May 2020 the MAf Executive Board approved to allocate funding to three elected not-for-profit organisations in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. MAf assigned $10,000 to each organisation to support their communities with mental health help.
- Suicide Prevention Pathways
- Jaie’s Journey Inc
- The Sunlight Centre
Recently we were able to meet with Jaie’s Journey Inc and recognise the funding and hear how the additional $10,000 will provide help to communities and individuals to support mental health, illness, awareness and wellbeing.
Jaie’s Journey Inc has been speaking with Nikki Briggs from the Mundubbera Suicide Prevention Network, Russell Mills (Suicide Prevention Coordinator) from the North Burnett Community Health and David Facer from Open Doors (based in Bundaberg).
I initially contacted David Facer from Open Doors to discuss the possibility of David providing necessary face to face support for persons at serious risk if suicide and requiring mental health support, or to provide bereavement support to family, friends or community impacted by a loved one’s suicide or attempt of suicide. David stated that he is definitely interested in providing the North Burnett this type of support, if it is required. David did discuss costs for such an exercise and estimated that it would be at least $1,000 for a full day visit for support purposes. Given that the North Burnett covers such a large geographical area, having enough funding to cover the expense of at least 6 visits would be beneficial. David would be able to provide detailed invoices for our records and documentary evidence.
I then spoke with Nikki, who I discussed with the possible options of providing several months of ongoing and, if required, face to face support by an appropriately trained service/individual, to the North Burnett area. Especially in times of COVID-19 and the loss of someone to suicide. There was a suicide death over the 2019-2020 Christmas-New Year period, which required a local woman (a survivor of suicide loss herself) to provide ongoing support for the newly bereaved family for quite some time. Nikki and I discussed the need to try and prevent the committee and community members, placing their own mental health and self-care at risk. Nikki then referred me onto Russell Mills to have further discussions.
Russell explained that due to the COVID-19 situation, he has to abide by his employer’s work guideline and is unable to attend any face to face meetings, until further notice. I discussed with Russell if he would be able to work with David Facer in these current times and Russell said that he knows David and believes that there is definitely something that could be worked out.
So, between having someone who can provide intense face to face support for those struggling with suicide loss, David would also be able to promote local support and community organisations during his visits with bereaved loved ones. This is critical in building up the Mundubbera’s Suicide Prevention Network and the North Burnett Community Health profiles. Once the COVID-19 social distancing bans end, any funds that are still available would then be put towards the original plans of having community BBQ’s. The hampers for Christmas will be a minimum of $1,000 with cold room hire for $410 (a full weekend). The Community would also benefit with a Christmas or New Year Fete or similar. JJI’s is liaising with the We Care 2 church in Hervey Bay and the New Life Church in Mundubbera to reach as many community people as possible. JJI is also involved with the TRAIC program with Wide Bay Hospital & Health Service, which will begin to roll out its forecast program (hopefully), by late July/early August.