Community urged to ‘rise up’

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

Leading mental health expert Mark Bateman has urged the local community to ‘rise up’ and take responsibility for the care and support of people facing challenges in the area. 

More than 40 people attended a presentation from Mr Bateman about life care and suicide prevention at the Yarrawonga Town Hall on Saturday, November 23.

Mr Bateman, who is a member of the Prime Minister’s Disaster Task Force, provides practical care and mental health first aid in critical emergencies. 

He has travelled extensively around regional Australia running seminars in lifecare, mental health and suicide prevention and has conducted over 2000 sessions.  

His aim is to upskill communities in how to recognise and refer those struggling with significant mental health challenges as he was one of the original contributors for putting together the material for the national guide to lifecare and suicide prevention. 

“I have a desire to transform the way communities view and think about mental health,” Mr Bateman said. 

“I strongly believe that a greater understanding is needed in this area. Just as CPR is regarded as an essential tool for saving lives, so should the equipping in the area of mental health.”

Ignite Life spokesperson Greg Dunns said the seminar was very successful thanks to the support from various organisations.

“We want to thank Moira Shire Council and Ignite Life Church for their support and funding for the event as well as the Yarrawonga Bakery for supplying refreshments. 

“Mark Bateman travels throughout regional Australia encouraging communities to ‘rise up’ and take responsibility for the care and support of people facing challenges in the mental health area. 

“We are planning to have Mark back in 2020 with a focus of youth mental health and lifecare,” Greg said.