Shining a light on men's mental health
Men’s mental health is a challenge that plagues many of our regional and remote communities. Isolation and access to information and support are mounting issues, but they are ones that Mick Bartlett, Komatsu’s Service Supervisor at the Tom Price branch in Western Australia is setting out to address.
Mick received a $10,000 grant from Komatsu through the employee ‘Live Your Dream’ program, which gives recipients the chance to support a charity or organisation of their choice. Mick has thrown his support behind the Regional Men’s Health Initiative, a not-for-profit organisation formed to raise awareness of men’s wellbeing and health, servicing regional, rural and remote WA.
“So many of these towns in remote WA are isolated, with little to no support for issues like men’s mental health, which is often overlooked. Being based out at Tom Price, it’s an issue I see day after day, and one I knew I wanted to tackle and see what I could do to support,” Mick says.
“There have been four suicides in our small communities of Tom Price and Paraburdoo this year alone. It’s heartbreaking and impacts each and every one of us in some way. Organisations like the Regional Men’s Health Initiative help us to connect with each other and show that there is support out there for people that are doing it tough. Sometimes it’s just a conversation that can set us on the right path.”
Mick’s grant will go towards further education programs at the Regional Men’s Health Initiative, and including one he helps support, the Pilbara Bruthas Poker Run, where a group of locals ride their bikes around the Pilbara, stopping at towns for poker tournaments, all while raising awareness of men’s mental health and wellbeing.
“We start in Paraburdoo, then head to Onslow, Karratha, Port Hedland, Tom Price & back to Paraburdoo for the final prize giving. There is free camping along the journey with daily prizes, and we encourage anyone to come and join us.
“Our motto is ‘It’s not just about the ride, it’s about the journey’ – and with thanks to Komatsu and the Live your Dream program, we can help spread the word and support further in these communities that need it the most.”