We are always very moved when community members advocate on our behalf and decide on Rural and Remote Mental Health as their charity of choice. Elsie Johnson and Ruby Schubert from Walford Anglican School for Girlsran a Community Project which raised $326.80 for our Rural Minds Youth Program.

Elsie is from Southern Mallee in the Murray and Mallee regions and Ruby is from Robe which is located in the Limestone Coast of Australia. The girls have a strong connection with remote areas and the hardships they face. Both were effected by the fires that moved through their communities in the summer of 2019. The fires were responsible for the loss of three lives, 196 homes, over 68,000 livestock and approximately 280,000 hectares (Independent Review Into South Australia’s 2019-20 Bushfire Season, June 2020). The emotional toll of this traumatic event would have been extremely high and the knock on effect no doubt still felt today.

“Both living in rural communities we understand the importance of mental health and we also understand that it is not well addressed. The opportunity arose for us to poetically make an impact for the better, through a school project called Community Project. Community Project requires students to choose a community and a need, and to look at different ways a community can be impacted for the better and how this can be done. We decided that we wanted to help address the stigma around mental health and Rural and Remote Mental Health’s program, Rural Minds was a great way to do this.

We decided to raise money through a market day stall where we could actively engage with students at Walford through a farm themed game. We asked the students to correctly match two of the same farm animal. We raised around $56.80 over two lunch times which was donated to the program. We handed the donation to Joe in person which was a great experience. We also set up a GoFundMe to raise some more money, we raised $270 from this.

When we were deciding on a program or organisation to support, the Rural Minds program stood out to us as the program that would make the most impact on the community that we wanted to support. We are glad we were able to support this program and make a difference”.

RRMH is proud to be developing a youth mental health program for people aged between 12-20 living in remote areas. The Rural Minds Youth program is designed to assist the younger population who may not have access to mental health facilities or services. The program will help to improve their understanding of mental health issues, make the connection between mental health and personal safety and give strategies to deal with emotional distress.

Thank you to Elsie and Ruby for your support, generosity and ambition to raise awareness around mental health and the RRMH organisation.