Farmer Mentors are Minding the Valley

November 1, 2018

Local charity says: Remember to ASK, LISTEN, ENCOURAGE ACTION and CHECK-IN

Lifeline Gippsland’s Mind the Valley Project has been out and about talking to people all across the Latrobe Valley about mental health and how best to look after your friends, neighbours, colleagues, families and other community members over September and October. The session is based on the premise that we understand pretty-well that we are supposed to ask each other “R U OK?” but what happens next?

There is a huge role that community members can play to support someone who is having a difficult time outside of or in conjunction with professional help. The Mind the Valley Project would not be possible without the dedication and passion of a group of volunteers called Friends of Lifeline. These volunteers have come on board and helped design the 1-hour conversation-based session and attended community groups across the Valley speaking to more than 200 people about these important messages. A key insight of this project has been that people know how to look after each other, it’s just been about reminding them of these simple skills and talking together over a cup of tea or coffee in a safe space.

The Mind the Valley Project will continue through to the middle of December when it will be thoroughly evaluated for its success and any improvements. At this point results are looking good with over 90% of participants indicating that they are more likely to ask someone R U OK? after attending the session, and over 90% of participants stating that they now know the next three steps of the conversation, which are…. LISTEN, ENCOURAGE ACTION, CHECK-IN