Mr Anthony Hart, a mind health advocate, was the keynote speaker who shared his life-changing, confronting yet powerful story.
Anthony told of how he reached the lowest point of his life, resulting in him attempting to take his life, but, more importantly, how he got his life back when he addressed over 85 people at a Mental Health Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention Evening at the Angaston Football Club last Wednesday evening.
His story inspired, activated and educated the audience to join a new movement that nurtures positive support for those suffering from depression and anxiety.
The movement is based on the LifeBack Tracker 4 Steps to Better Mind Health programme that he developed following his lived experience event and passion to pass on the positive effects lessons he learned during his own mind health recovery.
He has since developed a lifeback tracker app that is available for free.
The evening was an initiative of Sam Hayes and Dr Bill Gransbury from the Angaston A Team, a community pastoral care group.
The event was promoted by a number of self harm events in the local community, stimulating local concern for mental health support in their local community and enabled by Ms Deb Anderson from Barossa Council.
The aim was to raise awareness on how to identify early signs of stress, anxiety and depression in your friends and family, strategies to help confront mind health and self harm challenges and what mental health support was available.
The evening was facilitated by the Angaston Football and Netball Clubs, the Barossa Council, the Barossa SA Health’s Office of the Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention, the Barossa Local Drug Action Team (LDAT), the Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) and PsychMed.
Mr Keith Jamieson welcomed everyone, highlighting the significant impact recent events had had on the local community and the role local sporting clubs could have in providing pastoral support for those struggling with anxiety and depression.
Ms Karen McColl from John Dawkin’s office (Advocate for Suicide Prevention) was MC and shared her in-depth knowledge and experience of mental health and self harm minimisation.
A lived experience mentor and a psychologist from PsychMed discussed the significant correlation between alcohol and other drug use and self harm, how suicide intervention programmes operate and the availability of free programmes.
Catering was provided by volunteers from Angaston Netball Club.
Simon Taylor from Barossa LDAT highlighted that such a high attendance and the level of participation in the post presentation question time indicates the need for similar information evenings in regional areas.
He also noted that the recently established Barossa Suicide Prevention Network is developing its Action Plan and will be briefed on the event and the benefits of events like this being included in the plan.
If you need help contact Lifeline 131144 or Beyond Blue 1300224636.