Checking on your mates

ALL GOOD BRO?: The Shaka Project with Harmony Kennett will host a mental health awareness night next week. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Melanie Riley

CHECKING on your mates and igniting the conversation around mental health are the biggest drives for the founder of The Shaka Project, Sean Phillip.

Mr Phillip will soon bring the conversation to Mount Gambier/Berrin, with local ambassador Harmony Kennett.

Together, the pair are hosting a Mental Health and Suicide awareness night, in hopes to break down the stigma surrounding mental health, especially in men.

Mr Phillip said breaking down stigmas is one of his biggest aims through his initiative.

“That whole stigma that men have to be tough and durable – that’s a big thing that’s harming a lot of men and young boys,” he said.

“The idea that we can’t cry, we have to be manly and strong and tough.

“I’ve just found that if we shift that conversation we can hopefully save a lot of blokes from mental health and suicide.”

Ms Kennett said with suicide rates increasing in rural areas, the conversation around mental health is one we need to continue to have.

“Exposing our community to such a raw presentation and giving resources available for mental and physical help may have the potential to not only save a life, but start the conversation,” she said.

“There are so many people silently struggling, the more people that are encouraged to go, the more people we may have the opportunity to help in some way.”

Mr Phillip will show a Powerpoint presentation, where attendees can learn about mental health, how to support someone going through a hard time and resources available.

“For us, when we do these things, I definitely don’t see them as fundraisers, I just want people to be able to leave with a bit more understanding and a bit more awareness for mental health,” he said.

“Even if we don’t raise any money, that’s totally fine with me – it’s more about raising awareness.”

Dinner is available on the night for those that wish to have a meal, which needs to be ordered prior to the night.

The Shaka Project Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Night will be held at Centrals Soccer Club on June 19 from 6pm.

For tickets, find The Shaka Project Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Night event on Facebook and follow the link.