Helping the people one step at a time

LOOKING FOR VOICES: Suicide Preventation Network members Leah Griffin, Tracey Wanganeen and Steve are encouraging people to join the network's committee. Picture: TYLER REDWAY

Tyler Redway

THE Mount Gambier and Districts Suicide Prevention Network is seeking volunteers to become a part of their committee to help better the community’s wellbeing.

Network member Tracey Wanganeen encouraged community members to join the group, and have a say in events and programs that will help improve the mental health of residents in Mount Gambier/Berrin’s.

The Suicide Prevention Network collaborates with other organisations such as Lifeline and Beyond Blue, but Ms Wanganeen said it was still important to build a network of community perspectives.

“We have a lot of organisations involved and it is important, but you really need to have community representatives so they can say from that community perspective what they want,” Ms Wanganeen said.

“We are really keen to build the network so there are more community members involved.”

Ms Wanganeen said the network was looking for as many members who wanted to try something new or have a flexible schedule in supporting the community.

“We are looking for as many people who want to come along, because what we find is some people are only able to make it at different times than others,” she said.

“Sometimes we have had people in the past who don’t want to come to meetings but they are really happy to cook a barbecue or something like that.

“It’s about what they think they can contribute without any extra pressure on them.”

Committee member Leah Griffin said there were no qualifications needed to join the network and it was an opportunity for “like minded individuals” to meet each other and share their experiences and ideas.

“It is an opportunity for people to meet other like minded individuals, so if you come from a more experienced background then it’s an opportunity to connect with others who have the understanding of why you would want to become a member of a committee like this one,” Ms Griffin said.

“It’s very entry level as well, it’s not a huge commitment and we accept whatever people want to give.

“People can feel good about contributing to the community and also have the opportunity to meet new people, as well as finding out what services are available.”

Ms Griffin said events organised by the Suicide Prevention Network were free and encouraged new volunteers who can assist with the organisation of events.

Mount Gambier Head to Health peer support worker Steve said bringing in people from “different walks of life” into the committee would be the perfect opportunity for others to share their different opinions so they could build off each other.

“From a professional standpoint, you get caught up in what everyone is doing, so if you can bring in people with different opinions, then it can change the way you think and where the focus should be,” Steve said.

“You have people who come from lived experience passing on some information to others who might not know what is out there.

“Perspective is a very important thing because how people see things is what drives them to do what they do.

“It’s an opportunity for people to talk through it and learn from that and even if someone might have a wrong perspective, it could still be very important to them.”

The Mount Gambier and Districts Suicide Prevention Network can be reached on Facebook or their email at