Call to action

The MRSPAG walk in 2022 (supplied).

The Macedon Ranges Suicide Prevention Action Group (MRSPAG) is calling out to residents who are passionate about improving mental health and emotional wellbeing in the community.

The group is committed to addressing the impact of suicide in the community, and will be holding a forum on March 5, 6.30pm to 8pm at the Woodend Community Centre.

MRSPAG member Fiona Lawford said the group are committed volunteers and service providers from across the shire.

“Our ultimate aim is to reduce the number of deaths by suicide in the Macedon Ranges,” she said.

“We’ve been around for almost ten years, and several of us have lived experience of losing a loved one to suicide, or of experiencing our own mental health crises or helping loved ones with theirs.

“We strive to raise community awareness about suicide and reduce stigma.”

Ms Lawford said they provide peer support for people bereaved by suicide, through monthly group meetings where people are free to come and go as they need.

“We [also] offer and promote training to help people recognise signs that someone is struggling with their mental health, be confident to talk with them, and support them to stay safe.

“We bring together service providers and work with them on a range of important programs and projects.”

MRSPAG is also actively recruiting volunteers who can offer one-off help or longer-term help.

The forum will be followed by the MRSPAG AGM, and will be an opportunity to hear about work that’s being done in the community. There will also be time to mingle and chat over refreshments.