August 17, 2017
Brightly coloured chaser bins at six national field days will be used to raise awareness around mental health and well being in the rural areas.
Riverina farm machinery manufacturer, Coolamon Chaser Bins, will attend the Mingenow, Dowerin, Agquip, Newdgate, Henty and Yorke Peninsula machinery field days distributing information packs.
Coolamon Chaser Bins general manager Heath Hutcheon said the company would donate $1000 from every bin sold at the field days until September 30.
The chaser bins sport brightly coloured magnets highlighting anxiety, depression and suicide under the company’s initiative, Beyond Bins.
“We recently lost one of our long-time employees to suicide – he was a very well loved person by all and we pulled together to get through the loss as a group,’’ Mr Hutcheon said.
“Now a few months have passed, we wanted to create awareness around mental health at the six national field days we will be attending.’’
Coolamon Chaser Bins staff are receiving support from Riverina Bluebell and will be addressed by a counsellor and guest speaker on August 31.
“At the time, we were all in shock as there were no signs with the person being a happy-go-lucky guy,’’ Mr Hutcheon said.
“Just because someone has a smile on their face, you can’t take it for granted they are OK.
“It can be just one conservation with a mate or a work colleague to uncover they need help and stop their problem from growing legs.’’
Mr Hutcheon said traditionally rural men had regarded themselves as stoic and hardworking, and were reluctant to ask for help.
“Although the younger generation are more aware of the support services available they appear to be more affected than the older generation,’’ he said.
“The greater focus on mental health awareness by sporting clubs is certainly helping.
“We have had a few young staff who have struggled with anxiety and depression – it is important to talk and check on your mates, ask them if they are okay.
“At the field days, we will have information packs and for every order taken for a chaser bin during the field days from August 16 to September 30, we will donate $1000 to the cause,’’ he said.
“The idea was driven by our employees and we were happy as a company to help.’’