Teaching healthy lifestyle choices and having a chat might 'Save your bacon'

Save your bacon

Established in 2001, Rural Health Tasmania Inc (RHT) is a health and wellbeing organisation that offers free health services across the North West and Western districts of Tasmania. They deliver programs and services with a focus on empowering individuals, families and communities to break away from the generative cycle of poor health, poverty and disadvantage. They had noticed that the local community of Circular Head had experienced a particularly difficult period of hardship with enduring drought and widespread fires.

On top of that, in June 2016, a huge flood caused almost $100m dollars of damage with the loss of over 150 structures and homes. To support the Circular Head community in the wake of these challenges, Rural Health Tasmania decided to collaborate with other local service providers to hold two “Talk About It – Save Your Bacon” wellbeing events; one focused on isolated families and one for local youth. Rural Health Tasmania secured an FRRR tailored grant valued at $8,000, funded by a private donor, to help deliver the events.

Save Your Bacon REDPA

Save Your Bacon was held at the Football Club in Redpa and community members were encouraged to keep tabs on those around them to help manage depression and prevent suicides, especially among men, who often don’t speak up about these matters. Sadly, the event was timely as the community had lost two men to suicide in the week prior to the event. The event featured Young Australian of the year Mitch McPherson, who lost his younger brother to suicide and subsequently founded the “Speak up, Stay Chatty’ campaign - imparting a message to ‘show up for a listen’. Just under 100 people participated in health checks and had a good discussion. Watch more here.

Save your bacon Youth Fest

The Circular Head Youth Fest saw more than 450 students gather at Smithton High School to take part in Save Your Bacon. Students had the opportunity to hear from New Zealand based youth advocate Marcus Takuhata Brown and his friends, as well as Tasmanian Voice finalist Matthew Garwood who spoke about the importance of family, peer support networks and school based services to help tackle stress, anxiety and depression. Later in the day, the young people had the option to participate in the PITSTOP Health service and receive a ‘Save your Bacon’ show bag.

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