IF you’re out in the Scenic Rim, you might stumble across a little gem in the Roadvale Hotel in the village of Roadvale. It’s making a name for itself as a pub that offers food that’s a million miles from your chicken parmi and chips. And there’s a chance to get a taste of what it has to offer and do some good at the same time.
The hotel is running a long lunch for the Fassifern Suicide Prevention Network on 24 November. It’s a five-course lunch – and Milly and her team are excited about it because this isn’t something they normally do. But when they hosted the network for a very successful high tea and fashion event, they knew they’d love to do something out of the ordinary.
The plan is to let lunchers get to know the network and the work it does in the area. Chaired by mental health expert Ken Meldrum, the network was an outcome of a Wesleyan Mission initiative. Its work is to let people know that they’re not alone, even in the most desperate of times. They raise awareness of suicide and encourage people, particularly men, who very often are unwilling to seek help, to open up when they feel like they are doing it tough.
One of the network’s programs involves the “poo poster”, which gives information for people who feel like they’ve slipped into the poo with phone numbers of organisations who can help.
Suicide is an issue we rarely talk about but it’s something we’ve all been touched by. Milly explained to me that the other night, her and her team had sat to have an end-of-shift drink and she’d said she was thinking of running this lunch. She said, “Every single person on the staff had a story to tell. They had all been touched by suicide. It was a very moving experience.”
Each suicide affects 300 people – family, friends, workmates. And because we cannot hope to prevent it altogether, supporting the people affected, who have to pick up the pieces, is vital.
Ken said, “The area sees one of the highest rates of suicide in Queensland, so it’s essential to encourage people to open up.” It promises to be a great way to learn more about a subject that gets little airing but really needs it and at the same time, enjoy a delicious experience.