Thursday, May 30, 2024

Barossa takes a seat for mental illness

A new community-led initiative recently launched by The Barossa Council is providing a symbol of hope in helping to break down the barriers of mental illness.

‘Reflection Sofas’ will be installed in Angaston, Lyndoch and Mount Pleasant as a place for reflection and connection, Council says.

The initiative is a collaboration between The Barossa Council, Seeds of Hope Suicide Prevention Network, local mosaic artist Kristin Wohlers and major sponsor Black Dog Ride Australia.

Network spokesperson, Sue Raven said the role of a Reflection Sofa is to reduce stigma which is a barrier for people to reach out for help.

“We hope the sofas will be a prompt to ongoing discussions about suicide prevention and a place of solace for those impacted by suicide,” Ms Raven said.

“The keys to suicide prevention are connection, education and stigma reduction as well as connecting people to services. There will be a QR code to link to help services on each sofa.”

Mayor, Bim Lange welcomed the initiative as a way to maintain the community conversation about suicide prevention.

“These benches will be a visible reminder that support is available locally for people and encourage them to reach out for help,” Mayor Lange said.

“We’re especially grateful to our community representatives for driving this initiative and keeping suicide prevention at the forefront of community dialogue.”

The sofas will feature the sunflower from the Seeds of Hope in ceramic mosaic, and it’s hoped they will become a focal point for International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day in November.

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