Tradies speak up on men­tal health

Dubbo Photo News - - Emergency issues - By JOHN RYAN

Hope Si­doti, 4 How old is a grown up?

up high)

Best friend?

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.