A WIMMERA community has called for more mental health support in regional areas.
The Kaniva-Leeor United Football Club had a fundraiser for beyondblue on Friday last week, which raised more than $17,000.
The fundraiser was to support Kaniva’s Brad McCabe, who raised more than $40,000 for the charity by rowing along the Murray River.
Club president Jason Gordon said the support for beyondblue highlighted the need for more mental health services in regional areas.
“When people are in their darkest hours, they need someone to talk to,” he said.
“The government can afford three police officers in Kaniva, but we can’t have a mental health worker in our entire shire.
“It astounds me that we don’t have access to such a vital service.
“We need help, especially for the young people in our communities – the rates of suicide in regional areas are higher than other areas of the state.”
Mr Gordon said he hoped the fundraiser and Mr McCabe’s row for beyondblue would get more people talking about the issue.
He said the football club wanted to raise money for mental health because it was so prevalent in regional areas.
“I was at a football committee meeting and thought about how there was a high chance that one of the men in the room was suffering,” he said.
“It’s a blight on our society and we aren’t doing anything about it.”
Mr Gordon said more than 200 people attended the fundraiser and a range of items were auctioned off.
“The auction was really well support both in the goods and services that were donated and with the generous payment,” he said.
“Brad also spoke – we did a question and answer session with him and you could have heard a pin drop in the room.”
Mr Gordon thanked committee members Holly Pepper and Bennett Crouch for organising the fundraiser.