Macleay digs deep into pockets to fight stigma on mental health | Photos

The Macleay region took a huge step towards putting an end to the stigma surrounding mental health, raising $37,250 and spreading the message ‘it ain’t weak to speak’, at the Livin Charity Ball held at the Kempsey Macleay RSL Club on Saturday night.

The event was a huge success with organiser Tony Duncan, who is a Livin Team Member and Kempsey resident, expressing a lot was accomplished.

“It’s quite remarkable that a small country town can come together and raise such a large amount of money for an important cause,” Mr Duncan said.

“But more importantly the awareness of mental health was raised and hopefully people continue to feel more comfortable to speak with family members and friends.”

The crowd was captivated by guest speaker and Livin Ambassador Dave Neagle, who shared his battle with mental health.

Mr Neagle was discharged from the army for mental health reasons but continues to overcome his obstacles and recently competed in the Invictus Games in Canada.

Mr Neagle received a standing ovation from the crowd at the conclusion of his speech.

Items donated from local businesses and sports memorabilia were auctioned off throughout the night.

The total sum of $37,250 will be donated to the Livin non-for-profit organisation and Mr Duncan is confident the Macleay will benefit greatly.

“We are working towards getting Livin to attend schools, sporting clubs and hold community events in the Macleay,” Mr Duncan said.

“There are a few other things going on in the background too and hopefully it can all be finalised soon.”

Mr Duncan said the Livin Charity ball will be held at a similar time next year.