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Suicide Prevention Community Action Planning Group
Whitsunday, Isaac and Mackay

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What’s Real Mates Talk?


Around three-quarters of the people who die by suicide are men. SPCAP’s Real Mates Talk men’s campaign is aimed at preventing suicide attempts and deaths by men in our community.  Across the region, many men have put their hand up to be an Ambassador for this campaign – scroll down to see them below.

Along with SPCAP, these men aim to:

  • Encourage men (and women) to speak up and ask for help
  • Support them to have places to go to connect with others
  • Ensure they not subjected to stigma when they talk about mental health concerns

How will we do it?

To achieve these goals, SPCAP’s Real Mates Talk campaign includes:

  • Working with Ambassadors across the Whitsunday, Isaac and Mackay region who share information about how to ask for help and where to get it. These men act as role models for breaking down stigma, raising community awareness and making sure men know what supports are available to them
  • Conducting a survey to gather baseline data of if/how people in our community access help for mental health and suicidal concerns
  • Developing resources (such as the Saving Lives infographic) about how to respond to a crisis and improve mental wellness
  • Providing a Training Register with information about how to develop suicide prevention skills in our region
  • Raising awareness through social media, making presentations, partnerships with other organisation, participating in community events and sharing resources
  • Supporting sporting clubs and other community groups to know how to identify concerns and make initial contact

How can I get involved?

There are many ways you can help to prevent suicide in our community, such as:

  • Liking and sharing posts on Real Mates Talk Facebook page in your personal and work networks, particularly posts about our Ambassadors
  • Visit the Real Mates Talk website
  • Participating in a workshop to develop your suicide prevention skills (more info is in our Training Register)
  • Sharing the Saving Lives infographic – through social media and posters in your workplace, sporting clubs and community groups
  • Inviting an SPCAP representative to talk at your workplace, sporting club or community group
  • Being willing to share positive information with colleagues, family and friends about mental health, so you shatter stigma and bust myths

How can I support the men around me – my son, brother, father, friend, husband?

Completing a suicide prevention workshop (click here to find one in our region) will give you the information and skills you need to respond to a crisis.

There are also many simple things you can do every day for the men around you, so they stay mentally well and avoid becoming suicidal, such as:

  • Encourage the men in your family, work or social groups to talk about how they’re going
  • Notice what’s happening for the men around you. There may have been a particular event that can impact their mental health, such as problems in their family, separation from their partners and children, financial trouble or health issues
  • Even without any particular event you know of, notice other changes for the men around you. This could be changes in their mood, or if they are spending more time alone, drinking more often or becoming more withdrawn
  • Reach in and ask RUOK?  Listen and be there for the person. You don’t need to give advice or have any answers. If needed, support the person to get more help, which could be supporting them to talk to a family member, making an appointment with a GP, giving them a resource with other contact numbers (such as the Saving Lives infographic) or phoning a helpline
  • If you’re not comfortable having this conversation, support the person to link with someone else who can

Damon’s story:

You’re better off here


Nic’s story:

Small things give me hope


Better Off With You is a pilot initiative delivered by SANE Australia, and is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

The Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac region is one of two communities chosen for the targeted pilot campaign. The other is the Northern Beaches in Sydney.  The Mackay, Whitsunday and Isaac campaign features three real stories told by local people with experience of suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Better Off With You aims to speak directly to people feeling suicidal, and seeks to challenge the perception that they are a burden on their family, friends and other people. The campaign will be promoted across social media, radio, print media, outdoor advertising and TV.

The campaign website betteroffwithyou.org.au houses the video stories, support information, a listing of national and local services and an online moderated forum where people can discuss the campaign and share their experiences.  The pilot initiative was developed in consultation with local groups and those with lived experience, and includes a research component to ensure the campaign’s safety, measure impact and to inform future national suicide prevention activities.



11 Wood Street, Mackay
QLD Australia 4740