Mate Helping Mate visits bushfire affected communities

John Harper is passionate about
John Harper is passionate about "mental health and mates helping mates in the bush". Photo: Gotcha 4 Life

With many of the small communities of the MidCoast region continuing to be challenged by adversity arising from drought, bushfire and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Midcoast Renewal Commitee has brought John Harper of Mate Helping Mate to our area to give informal presentations to communities on strategies for helping each other out through mental health challenges.

John is a 'bloke from the bush' who has passionately advocated the wisdom, knowledge and strategies of lived experience of people who live in rural and remote communities throughout Australia. John was raised, schooled and worked in the Manning Valley before moving to Stockinbingal in the Riverina to the family wheat/sheep farm.

John Harper on ABC Man Up trailer

Mate helping Mate wellbeing strategies are based on simple philosophies: a mate enjoys the good times with you and a good mate is by your side when you are battling adversity, and in helping another you help yourself in regards to mental wellbeing.

The success of Mate helping Mate lies in the ability to relate on common terms with everyday folk, "from farmers, locals and health workers about what works (and what doesn't) for helping people struggling in remote and rural communities."

"John's presentation is a must for our community following the hardships of drought, bushfires and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," MidCoast Renewal Committee's Taycee-Lea Jones said.

I have learnt that mental health is everybody's business.

John Harper

"John aims to help show what works and what doesn't when it comes to approaching mental health issues in rural communities like ours."

The talks are being given at the following locations:

  • Saturday December 5: Johns River Community Hall, 3pm-5pm
  • Sunday December 6: Wingham Services Club - Auditorium, 3pm-5pm
  • Monday December 7: Nabiac Showground Hall, 6pm-7.30pm
  • Wednesday December 9: Marlee Hall, 10am-12pm
  • Wednesday December 9: Killabakh Hall - guest speaker at "Cuppa and Chat" 2pm-4pm
  • Wednesday December 9: Burrell Creek Hall, 5pm-6.30pm
  • Friday December 11: Club Taree - Casuarina Room, 5.30pm-7pm
  • Saturday December 12: Gloucester RSL Soldiers Club - Auditorium, 11am-12.30pm

Please contact 047 8769173 for more information about this event.