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Accidental Counsellors Offer Lifeline to Rural Residents

24 JUN 2019

Accidental counsellors offer lifeline to rural residents teaser

Lifeline WA will partner with CSBP Fertilisers (CSBP) to deliver free workshops in rural towns to improve the support available to people dealing with mental health issues.

Suicide rates in rural and remote areas of Australia are significantly higher than the national average and a major factor is the lack of mental health services and resources available.

The Regional Accidental Counsellor Program will provide community members with the basic skills needed to offer support and guidance when dealing with people in distress in either their professional or personal lives.

The one-day workshops will cover an introduction to counselling theory, how to guide conversations sensitively and effectively, key skills and phrases to use when helping others, dealing with strong emotions and maintaining self-care and setting boundaries.

The program will be delivered by Lifeline WA in the towns of Mullewa in the Midwest region, and Lake Grace and Merredin in the Wheatbelt, which were selected in consultation with CSBP.

Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said CSBP Fertilisers’ knowledge and relationships in these communities made it a natural partner improving rural mental health.

“CSBP Fertilisers’ broad rural footprint and the integral part its businesses play in the communities it services gives it a deep understanding of these towns,” she said.

“Community consultation is a critical part of the program and working with CSBP will help Lifeline WA customise the program to suit each community’s needs.”

CSBP Fertilisers General Manager Tanya Rybarczyk said people in a range of professions faced situations where they could benefit from the training.

“You could be a nurse, a high school teacher or a sports coach, there’s a good chance you’ll eventually need to offer support and guidance to someone in distress,” she said.

“Midwest and Wheatbelt residents access community mental health services at a significantly lower rate than WA as a whole, so having people in the community who can offer support in day-to-day life is crucial to improving mental health.

“CSBP Fertilisers is proud to partner with Lifeline WA to deliver this program.”

The workshops will be held on July 10 in Mullewa, July 23 in Lake Grace and on July 25 in Merredin.

For more information about the course visit www.lifelinewa.org.au/Education/ Testimonials/Accidental-Counsellor

Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service is available on 13 11 14.