A $10,000 COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has been made to Lifeline Fraser District so they can conduct additional community workshops on suicide prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fraser Coast United Freemasons Lodge representative Russell Darcy said they nominated the local service for the grant.
“There is so much uncertainty at the moment, so it is important that support services for mental health and suicide prevention are accessible to those that need it most,” Mr Darcy said.
Some 300 locals will take part in these free sessions that are being held in response to a surge in demand for the organisation’s services in the wake of the pandemic.
Lifeline Fraser District Service Leader Marion Sneddon said the grant would help to cover the costs associated with delivering 15 sessions.
“This $10,000 grant will help to cover the purchase of essential equipment, fuel and administration of five, four-hour safeTALK sessions and ten, two-hour suicideTALK sessions to communities affected by the pandemic,” Ms Sneddon said.
“Education and awareness are the two things that we need to focus on now more than ever given that stress and anxiety levels are so high.”
The safeTALK sessions will help participants to recognise the signs of someone seeking help and connect them with life-saving resources and support. The suicideTALK sessions will give participants a deeper understanding of suicide prevention and how communities can deal with the stigma associated with suicide.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided over $750,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.
“Lifeline Fraser District provides an essential service for the region, and we are glad the Fraser Coast United Freemasons nominated the charity for this extra support to put on additional workshops at a time when their community needs them the most.”