Ross' Big Blue Table for mental health awareness

Murray Dairy Regional Extension Officer and dairy farmer, Ross Read, is partnering with mental health charity Beyond Blue to host a Big Blue Table in October to raise much-needed funds towards improving mental health resources and social awareness. 

Ross is one of a number of Australians across the country who are throwing their support behind the initiative, and it is one that is close to his heart.

“I had my own mental health journey following childhood trauma. This then manifested as depression and anxiety,” Ross explained. 

“I waited until later in life to seek help – my first port of call was my GP and then a counsellor. From there, it was learning to deal with my mental illness. I then felt that I wanted to help the community and Beyond Blue was the right fit for me.”  

In recent years, Ross has partnered with Beyond Blue on multiple awareness projects, including the You’re Not Alone podcast series that deals with the effects of childhood trauma on family and relationships.

“They provide great support for those living in rural, regional, and remote areas through their online and phone services for suicide prevention and those suffering anxiety and depression. These services are good for those wishing for anonymity in close knit communities,” Ross said.

On Saturday 8 October, Ross will be sitting at the head of a ‘Big Blue Table’ at the Toolamba pub, ready to welcome anyone and everyone to his table for an evening of connection and meaningful conversations – while raising funds to help Australians facing anxiety and depression. 

“Events like this are important to give community level peer support. They help to break down stigma and the stereotypes of mental illness. It is a great opportunity for a social event off farm, especially with the ongoing pressures of things such as drought, fires and flood,” Ross said.

“Adult men often struggle with talking about their problems. I want to be a role model to family and friends to show that vulnerability is not a weakness – and that it shows strength and courage in seeking help.”

Click here to donate to Ross’s event or consider hosting an event of your own by registering at Big Blue Table

Register: Ross Read's Big Blue Table Tickets, Sat 08/10/2022 at 7:00 pm

If you or anyone you know needs help, please access the listed resources:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
  • Headspace on 1800 650 890

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