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​Prison staff raise awareness and funds for mental health

Issued: Wednesday 26 October 2016

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Staff at Goulburn Correctional Centre have raised more than $10,000 for Australian non-for-profit organisation beyondblue, with the help of the Wests Tigers NRL club.

Corrective Services NSW Operational Support Officer Derek Haine, who was part of the team that helped organise the special fundraising day, said the event was well attended and feedback from staff was positive.

“Given the challenges correctional staff face every day, it can be a very stressful job, so good mental health is incredibly important,” Mr Haine said.

“Holding events like this breaks down the barriers and help remove the stigma attached to speaking out about mental health issues.”

For the second year, the centre hosted a mental health awareness and activity day, The Big Day In, managing to double their fundraising efforts.

beyondblue ambassador Allan Sparkes and a contingent from the Wests Tigers, including Chief Executive Officer Justin Pascoe, attended the centre last Thursday and spoke to staff about dealing with depression, anxiety and other associated mental health issues.

Free health checks for staff, a touch football round robin and a barbeque lunch were also organised. Following the day’s activities, an auction was held in the evening at The Astor Hotel, in Goulburn, with live music.

Touch football game 

More than $10,000 was raised from auctioning items, including a corporate box for 10 people at an upcoming NRL game (kindly donated by the West Tigers), signed jerseys from NRL and AFL clubs, and music memorabilia.

Goulburn Correctional Centre Governor Larry Bolger said he hopes the day will become an annual event.

“Creating awareness for our staff to look after their mental health is vital,” Mr Bolger said.

“The Centre’s peer support team has done a great job, two years in a row, to organise a fantastic event.” For more information on depression, anxiety or any other mental health issues visit beyondblue.org.au, or call 1300 22 4636.

The generous donors included: Wests Tigers RLFC, The Astor Hotel, Sue McInnes, Goulburn Junior Stockmen RLFC, Luke Wheeldon, Jarrod Crocker, Chris Greenwood, GWS Giants AFC, Canberra Raiders RLFC, Australian Cricket Association/Goulburn Cricket Association, Top Shot Photographics & Prints, Print NRG, Choirboys/Mark Gable, Daniel Alvaro, Parramatta Eels RLFC, Lamberts Wines, Jimmy Barnes, KFC Goulburn, Jester, Lumpy Underdaks,Five Point Road, Tarlo Mack, Two Up, Peter Marks, Tim Price, Barry Butterfield, Carlyle Seers, Vicki Walcott, Amanda Buck, Harmony Bowden, Marguerite Gaffney, Gaye Dryden, Amanda Cotter, Joe Neely, Stephanie Kimber and Frazer Kerr.