By Oliver Lees
Schools across the Macedon Ranges are focusing on the mental health of their students.
Through a Macedon Ranges Live4Life program, called Risk it to Fix it, over 600 year eight students across the shire have been engaged in a mental health awareness program tailored to rural communities.
The Live4Life team is currently working out of Braemar College, Gisborne Secondary College, Kyneton Secondary College, Sacred Heart College and the Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School.
Macedon Ranges council Live4Life co-ordinator Loren Polzot said this year’s theme, Risk it to Fix it, is all about checking in with your mates.
“The program aims to reduce the stigma associated with talking about mental health,” Ms Polzot said.
“And [also] to encourage young people to offer support to friends and help themselves when they are struggling.”
In 2018, Star Weekly reported that Macedon Ranges had above average suicide rates, according to data from the Public Health Information Development Unit.
The data found suicide rates in the Macedon Ranges to be 40 per cent higher than the Australian average across all age groups.
Now in its 10th year in the region, Live4Life is an organisation run by young people for young people.
Current Macedon Ranges Young Citizen of the Year, Miranda Johnson-Jones, is amongst the emcees facilitating the event.
To find out more head to mrsc.vic.gov.au/Live-Work/Youth/