Country South SA

Roadster Katie at the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier.

The Beyond Blue bus rolled into South Australia on 18 March 2014 for a week of events in the Country South SA Medicare Local region – stretching from Mount Gambier in the south, to Berri in the north, to Murray Bridge east of Adelaide.

First stop was Mount Gambier, where the Roadshow attended Pangula Mannamurna's Close the Gap Health and Wellness Expo. Close the Gap is Australia's largest ever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health campaign, aiming to close the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

Hundreds of community members and school children turned out for the expo and a colourful display of hip hop dance, traditional dance, and choreographed skipping for Jump Rope for Heart. Beyond Blue joined a number of organisations providing health and wellness information.

The following morning, Beyond Blue CEO Kate Carnell AO joined Rob Cordiner from WorkCoverSA and Lynette Martin from the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce to speak to dozens of business owners and managers about the importance of creating mentally healthy workplaces. You can read more about our work in the area here.

The team made a quick stop at Mount Gambier’s incredible Blue Lake before hitting the road to Berri – an agricultural and viticultural town in the heart of the Riverland. On 19 March a Growers’ Night Off was held for grape and citrus growers who have been experiencing the effects of drought and low prices.

About 30 growers and their family members gathered at the Berri Resort Hotel to hear from Beyond Blue Ambassador Tony McManus and enjoy entertainment by local musician Harrison Lowe.

The next morning, the bus parked at headspace Berri opposite the mighty Murray River. Beyond Blue staff along with counsellors from headspace and the Riverland Division of General Practice chatted to dozens of locals and provided information about depression, anxiety and support services.

On 21 March the Roadshow team attended a community day in Murray Bridge. Close to 200 school children and dozens more locals dropped by The Station to enjoy the live music on offer and play games while learning a bit more about mental health.

Thanks to the many organisations who supported the visit, including Country South SA Medicare Local, Rural Business Support, Riverland Division of General Practice, Murray Mallee General Practice Network, Closing the Gap, headspace Berri and headspace Murray Bridge, Riverland Wine, CCW Co-operative, Berri Resort Hotel and ABC Riverland.

Thanks also to official Roadshow partners Medibank Community Fund and WorkCoverSA.

View other stops around Australia, and a gallery of National Roadshow highlights.

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