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If you would like to help out with a donation please send your cheque to: Suicide Awareness .Com Inc, 'Bricks for Life', PO Box 8039 , Griffith  NSW   2680

Safe house idea
gains momentum

First 100 bricks a terrific omen : The first 100 bricks were sold on Thursday, with Suicide Awareness president Val Rowe calling the purchase a "great sign". "It's the very first lot sold and I can't thank the local woman who bought them enough," she said. "It just goes to show there is a problem here and that this house is needed. I'd urge everyone to keep the donations coming, let's show the government that we can do this, with the community's help we will do this." Griffith life coach Anita Tresise has joined the list of locals to throw their support behind the campaign.

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THE Griffith community has thrown its support behind the plan to build a new mental health safe house in the city.

The Bricks for Life campaign, which urges residents to donate $2 to buy a brick to construct a new facility, has been backed by the ANZ Bank and a local church group.

Suicide Awareness president Val Rowe said she was "estatic" the project was gathering momentum. "I'm just thrilled to see that the ANZ and the church groups have come on board," she said. "The sooner we can raise the money, the sooner we will save lives and help local families who need it."

ANZ business manager Mark Harris said his branch was more than happy to lend a hand. "My staff and I saw this as a very worthy cause to help people in Griffith," he said. "The bottom line is, mental health is a big issue everywhere and if there is any way we can get behind something that helps address the problem then we will. We have opened an account so that people can donate to buy the bricks. This will allow the community to contribute to the cause."

Baptist minister Rev Kevin Webb said he is exploring the possibility of establishing a support group made up of local ministers that could assist the safe house. "The idea is to provide a support network, a point of call to help mental health patients, we'd be non-denominational and call ourselves Emergency Support Services," he said.

"If the safe house project gets off the ground it would be a great opportunity for us to utilise the facility. The advantage is that most pastors are trained as counsellors. While we may not be trained in mental health, we do have the skills to listen. Mental health is obviously a big concern and anything that can help is a good thing."

Chairman of the Griffith Mental Health Task Force, Noel Hicks said, in theory, the concept was a good plan. "I think it's a good idea, however the problem is not bricks and mortar, its staff," Mr Hicks said. "If we build it who is going to staff it? Training for mental health is a complex issue. I think if we can staff it and maintain it then it's a wonderful idea."

Story by Tanya Pattison, The Area News, Monday March 13 2006.

 

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Suicide Awareness .com Inc

PO Box 8039, Griffith
NSW 2680, Australia