Support for regional mental health growing through connections

How seriously do you take your mental health and is it the same as looking after any other part of your body? This is a question that Gotcha4Life Chairman and Founder, Gus Worland, asks communities.

After experiencing first-hand the devastating impacts of mental illness in his own personal journey, Gus has made it his life mission to support communities’ mental fitness and ability to support and address issues related to mental illness.

 “Our vision at Gotcha4Life is a world where people are open, honest and supportive in their relationships and comfortable to express themselves when they are not OK. We envisage a society in which everyone has a Gotcha4Life mate who they can open up to, warts and all and rely on no matter what.

“Our partnership with Landcare NSW will help create and facilitate these conversations. The past couple of years have been devastating for so many rural and regional communities so we’re working with Landcare NSW to help provide support where it is needed most,” said Gus Worland.

Central West Lachlan Landcare Coordinator and Central West Regional Representative, Marg Applebee said she looks forward to facilitating workshops and events in the Parkes region.

“Gus is so fantastic at engaging with the community and it was such a pleasure to have him and his wife (and Co-Founder) Vicky come to Parkes. They are such great people and really work with you to build a strong mental health network and help establish strategies to support your community.

“The Gotcha4Life team are working towards the goal of zero suicides and focus on prevention through connection. The fact that they are doing this without Government funding and are working with people and partners such as Landcare NSW really shows their willingness to go anywhere to help raise awareness of the importance of working on your mental health, as you would your physical health,” says Marg Applebee.

Landcare NSW has been working in collaboration with Gotcha4Life to develop a support network for local Landcare communities to have access to the services Gotcha4Life provides. Most recently, Landcare NSW has formed a coalition with the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMPH).

“After an initial partnership with Gotcha4Life, Landcare NSW has also built a further partnership with RAMPH and Surf Life Saving NSW to ensure that all Landcare NSW communities have the opportunity to build their mental fitness and have access to the support they need,” says Landcare NSW CEO, Dr Adrian Zammit.

“The past 18 months have been devastating for our communities. Both adults and children are dealing with so many mental health challenges, which has only been exacerbated by drought, bushfires and COVID-19 so by building support networks we hope to successfully make a difference to everyone. No matter their age.”