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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 10124

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (16:43): The 2014 Black Dog Ball, a major event for Gladstone-Rockhampton, will be held at the Paradise Lagoons on 11 October, raising awareness for mental health and wellbeing within the families in the agricultural sector of Central Queensland. It responds to graziers and farmers who may be undergoing hardship due to severe drought. I am pleased to report that it was raining in the area today. They are at risk of suicide. Of course, the rain does not bring dollars immediately. Last year they raised $13,000 for mental health. The training program is an initiative that will deliver applied suicide intervention skills training—ASIST—to members of the community who are likely to come into contact with families and individuals undergoing extreme hardship, such as bank staff, service providers, accounting staff et cetera. The funds raised will allow this training to be offered free of charge to members of the community who may lack the skills and/or the confidence to respond to their customers who may be in crisis. The Black Dog Ball coincides with Queensland Mental Health Week, which will be run on 5 to 12 October. Mental Health Week is an annual national awareness event conducted to coincide with rural Mental Health Day, which is 10 October this year.