SPRC to present to chuckwagon and rodeo community about mental health

By Shaun Penner
February 11, 2019 - 5:30am Updated: February 11, 2019 - 8:11am

With recent suicides in the rodeo and chuckwagon community, the Suicide Prevention Resource Centre is putting on a presentation in to address mental health problems and break down the stigma when it comes to asking for help.

The Tough Enough to Talk About It program is offering a free presentation on February 28, aimed towards education on how to recognize mental health issues, how to ask for help and what resources are out there for them.

“We wanted to reach out to them and invite them to come along and open up that conversation about suicide,” said Executive Assistant with the Resource Centre Shane Anderson. “We want them to know the signs to look for and where to get help.”

Anderson notes that the chuckwagon and rodeo community is one that is often overlooked when it comes to mental health awareness, because of the “hardcore people” within that group that may not want to show weakness by reaching out for help. That’s why he and the Centre are reaching out, to help break down the stigma.

“Who’s tougher than someone that wants to ride a bucking bronco or bull for eight seconds?” states Anderson. “They don’t want to talk about things. This is a chance for us to open up that conversation with them.”

The program has been around since 1999, originally going by the name of Men at Risk. Since that time, businesses and organizations within the trades and agriculture sectors have reached out to the Centre to offer education and support to its employees and members. In the case of the rodeo and chuckwagon community, it has been a case where the Resource Centre is reaching out to them, trying to get the conversation started, which would hopefully lead to similar success to what they have had within trades and agriculture.

 “Hopefully this presentation will break down some walls and get people some resources.”

Anderson also notes that with suicides remaining high in Northern Alberta, he and the Centre want to continue to do more presentations for all community groups, in an effort to bring suicide rates down.

The presentation is available to anyone free of charge, but any attendees are asked to RSVP by Monday, February 25. That can be done by calling the SPRC at 780-539-6680.

The presentation is on February 28th, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Jackpot.

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