Mental health ‘first aid’ a focus for Seeds of Hope

Seeds of Hope representatives receive a donation following RU OK? Day: Julie Storton, Jacqueline Henschke, Rory Ellendon, Susan Raven and Bob Modra. Front: Dorota Clausen, Sustainability Manager, Pernod Ricard; Lynn Kelly, Sustainability Business Partner, Pernod Ricard; and Jan Hoffman.

Barossa’s Seeds of Hope Suicide Prevention Network were pleased to receive a donation of $1,350 from Pernod Ricard Winemakers following this year’s recent RU OK? Day.

With a strong company emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, Pernod Ricard’s Sustainability team decided Seeds of Hope was a worthy cause to go towards for this year’s RU OK? Day

A raffle was run for hampers filled with local vouchers and produce, as well as specially made cupcakes and protein balls sold for a gold coin donation on September 9.

More than $600 was made, with the company then matching, dollar for dollar, the donation amount.

“It’s absolutely wonderful that we have this donation, because our goal this year is to focus on training, so it’s going to help us kick start that,” said Seeds of Hope Chairman, Susan Raven.

The group hope to facilitate a series of four hour mental health “first aid” courses for people in the community, especially those who may be isolated or in outlying towns.

Pernod Ricard’s focus on mental health has been steadily evolving for several years, following a presentation to all 400 employees by Beyond Blue in 2015.

“The thing that really hit home to me in that presentation was that mental health should be treated like any other
illness,” said Sustainability Manager, Dorota Clausen.

The company has since put in place a number of initiatives for employees, including access to an on-site psychologist, a wellbeing room for individuals to take a mental “time out”, and involvement with the Blue Tree Project.

Along with several blue trees that have been positioned on the company’s premises, employees will be working with a local landholder to paint another large dead tree at Sandy Creek next Monday.

In keeping with their commitment to mental health, supporting Seeds of Hope is an important continuation of the company’s outreach. 

“We look forward to helping out with fundraising and collaborating where we can in years to come,” said Dorota.

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