11/06/2018 - 15:37

BHP backs Zero2hero on suicide prevention

11/06/2018 - 15:37

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BHP Billiton has responded to a Hedland Senior High School student’s call for support by backing a youth-focused mental health and suicide prevention program based in the Pilbara.

BHP backs Zero2hero on suicide prevention
BHP has committed to funding two rural students to attend a leadership program.

BHP Billiton has responded to a Hedland Senior High School student’s call for support by backing a youth-focused mental health and suicide prevention program based in the Pilbara.

BHP has committed to funding two rural students to attend mental health charity Zero2hero’s leadership program, while discussing how the organisations can collaborate to launch an additional student support initiative.

One of four Camp Hero programs currently offered by zero2hero is a five-day mental health leadership program based on research that found 87 per cent of youth spoke with friends first when encountering an issue.

The program educates young people to be mental health leaders in their schools and communities, starting with their own mental state and wellbeing.

It addresses physical health, nutritional links to mental health, the role played by positive relationships, self-expression and challenging situations.

Suicide rates are 40 per cent higher in rural areas than in metropolitan areas, making suicide awareness and prevention skills in remote and regional Western Australia a priority for Zero2hero.

Zero2hero founder Ashlee Harrison said one particular student was inspired and motivated by the 2017 Camp Hero program to the point that he approached both BHP and his school, Hedland Senior High School, to request the funding of future placements at the camp.

“The BHP Port Hedland staff were so impressed with this particular student and what they heard that they contacted Zero2hero to arrange a meeting,” she said.

BHP Port Hedland then arranged for Zero2hero’s CEO to visit Port Hedland to discuss how to improve the mental wellbeing of the Hedland community.

“Together, Zero2hero and BHP Port Hedland are now creating a three-year mental health strategy.

“The strategy will include a Camp Hero program and the rollout of the Zero2hero schools program at Hedland Senior High School, plus a range of community education and engagement programs.”

The program is planned to launch in 2019.

According to the charity, suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians under the age of 44, with one young Western Australian lost to suicide every week.

And about 54 per cent of people with mental illness do not access treatment, which is worsened by delayed treatment due to problems with detection and diagnosis.

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