Friday, 08 February 2019

Professional and local cricket legends have teamed up with one of NSW’s leading rural mental health programs to deliver cricket tips and life-saving mental health messages to the local community.

Chris Green and Jay Lenton of the Sydney Thunder and former Ireland Captain, NSW Head Coach and Player Trent Johnston will be in Bega on Thursday 21st February to run a special children’s cricket clinic for budding sports stars and play in a local Tathra versus Bega cricket match at George Griffin Oval in Bega. 

Aussie cricket legends and Baggy Blues Ambassadors Greg Dwyer, Gavin Robertson, Len Pascoe and Phil Emery along with former NSW players, Matthew Phelps, Steve Small, David Freeman and Phil Marks will also make their way to Bega to help shine a light on Rural and Regional Mental Health.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance said the afternoon and evening events were part of the popular Baggy Blues Regional Tour, proudly supported by $120,000 from the NSW Government and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH). 

“Cricket brings our community together, and this match will not only be a great night out for the whole family but an important way for our rural mental health teams to reach people who might need support,” Mr Constance said. 

Bega-Angledale Cricket Club President, Jo Lever said this is an exciting event for the local area and the club are pleased to be able to support the Baggy Blues tour and the RAMHP coordinator to ensure Mental Health awareness is on everyone’s radar.

Tathra Cricket Club President, Adam Blacka said it’s fantastic that Bega is a part of this tour, highlighting Mental Health across Rural and Regional areas is vital in getting the message out and ensuring those in our regional areas get the support they need.

“Bega-Angledale and the Tathra Cricket Club are excited to be working with and supporting the local RAMHP coordinator in this vital community awareness program and look forward to taking the field in two weeks, in what will be a cracker of big bash match,” Ms Lever and Mr Blacka said.

Mr Constance said the tour has already reached hundreds of people in Lismore, Griffith, and Dubbo and I am excited that Bega will now play its part in Mental Health awareness.

“I encourage everyone across the region to come into town for the celebrity cricket match and register your kids for the cricket clinic beforehand.”

“The message is clear, first and foremost if you notice changes in someone’s behaviour, either in yourself or those around you, reach out - encourage that person to take the first step and see their GP,” Mr Constance said.

The Southern NSW Local Health District provides a range of Community Mental Health Services in the Bega community, and Bega and surrounds is serviced by a dedicated coordinator from CRRMH’s Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.

“Events like the Baggy Blues Tour play such an important role in making people aware of their mental health and where they or their families can the support they need, particularly in regional and remote areas,” Ms Jennie Keioskie said.

The NSW Government provides $3.8 million per year to the CRRMH to support the mental health of rural and regional residents. In 2018-19 the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will spend $2.1 billion on mental health services and infrastructure.

If you, or someone you know, needs crisis support phone Lifeline on 13 11 14. For local mental health services or to reach your local RAMPH Coordinator call the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.