Posted on 05 May, 2019
Rural Alive and Well (RAW) are the official charity of Agfest 2019.
John Clark, an out reach worker with the organisation, says RAW has been part of Agfest since they were established almost 10 years ago.
The Tasmanian organisation began as a response to the rise of suicides due to drought related stress. Their 1300 HELP MATE help line is manned 24 hours a day with an out reach worker skilled in mental health and suicide prevention on the other side.
Their concept and support for rural people and the rural community has been proven effective, gaining state and federal support to roll out state wide. The organisation has also been approached to export their knowledge and skills to Queensland and New South Wales to support rural members during times of crisis.
John spoke of the great privilege for RAW to be selected as this year’s Agfest charity and told of the benefits this association will bring.
“It does two things: the first it provides a great source of income for us… basically means boots on the ground and equates to more face to face meetings with more people who are struggling. The second, it highlights our cause… We can’t connect with everyone who is suicidal, but if we can get the message out there that everyone needs to look out for their mates, and if we can equip people to do that, then that’s a great thing,” says John.
Photo by: Dave Groves