TAFE NSW Kempsey students studying a Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work are doing vital research in the community to aid in mental health issues in collaboration with the organisation, Kempsey Suicide Prevention Program.
Working on the initiative since early this year, the students started by pouring over existing data and identifying there is a gap in male specific information and support in the Macleay Valley and established this is where they can make the biggest impact.
To initiate a discussion around mental health with the local community, the students organised a forum in May which garnered 70 attendees from the Macleay Valley with speakers who included; doctors, mental health specialist as well as individuals with lived experience of mental illness, family violence and drug and alcohol addictions.
The aim of the forum was to garner feedback from the public on what resources would be helpful to men to better support their physical and mental health.
Using the feedback they received, TAFE NSW students identified the community would benefit from a service directory of helplines, emergency contact numbers and useful websites specific to the region.
Students have since arranged a string of community barbecues held at TAFE NSW Kempsey, karaoke nights at the South Kempsey Men's group and a regular trailblazers walk for men over 55, which allows for regular opportunities for locals to seek support.
While supporting the community, the TAFE NSW students are getting real experience and practical skills to prepare them to be job-ready.
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