Tradies speak up on mental health
Hope Sidoti, 4 How old is a grown up?
Jimmy and Geegee, I just play with them and we play hide and seek
I can read
What are you really good at? What is the hardest thing about being a kid?
You can’t reach anything This tall (holds her hands
What is the best thing about being a kid?
You can play games and play hide and seek and tips, you can even read books
What would you like to be when you grow up?i
would like to do drawing. I’ve got sand in my pocket (empties it onto the floor)
What would be your best day ever?
I have a pool at home and I can touch the ground in the water and I can see under water
If you could be invisible, what would you do?
Tap them on the shoulders and get the music books down and I would get on the swings easily THE memory of Perry Meredith, a happy and fun-loving young builder, weighed on the minds of young Dubbo tradies at a fundraiser held in his honour at Ingenia Retirement Village last weekend.
The $2 bacon and egg rolls were a hit, and why wouldn’t they be? But it was the presentation from LIVIN co-founder Sam Webb that left a huge impression on all participants.
The fact Perry was so highly regarded, and his death impacted the Dubbo community so profoundly, brought home to Sam just how important his work is – he wants to stop these preventable tragedies from occurring in the first place.
“It’s my second time in Dubbo, there’s a special feeling here, it’s a very family-orientated feeling, everyone sort of bands together for the greater good, and to see a great turn out today has been outstanding,” Sam told Dubbo Photo News on Saturday.
“Really important was the fact that there were a lot of young guys here today. It was good to have them hanging around and we got the chance to speak.
“Part of the social impact that we really want to hit home is that for every thousand dollars that we can raise, or get donated, that will go towards supplying one of our behaviour change programs – called “Livin well” – to a rural or a remote school, and we hope to increase education to young people and give them the message that it ‘aint weak to speak’,” he said.
He believes part of the problem in a society that’s so busy just chasing itself around by the tail is that lack of time – a lack of time to reflect on what’s truly important and a lack of time to spare a few thoughts about how your mates are handling the stresses in their lives.
He said all good things begin with education – that’s why he’s desperate to raise funds to get the LIVIN message into as many classrooms as possible.
“When I was at school we didn’t have people coming in and speaking to us about mental health,” Sam said, adding that everyone should know the answer to the question, ‘What are the signs?’
“It’s so powerful, you can’t put a number on it, you can’t put a figure on it – the positive impact (the education program) will have is unquantifiable and hopefully we can spread the love in Dubbo and get into a few local schools and make some positive change.
“Anyone from local schools can give us a shout, we’d love to come out and make a difference,” he said.
Perry’s dad Mark Meredith has found the past year immensely difficult, but has an overwhelming urge to prevent similar tragedies happening to other families.
“You don’t realise (the impact) until you’re touched by it, unfortunately, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but you’ve got to have those discussions – sometimes it’s not easy,” Mark said.
“We have to watch over these young tradies and think about all the pressures that they have.”