Our friendly four legged friends will help raise awareness for mental health, at working dog clinics held across rural Australia.
Wanting to improve mental health in rural areas, Wayne Flintham's Australian Stockdogs Magazine will host schools across the country to fundraise for beyondblue.
Wanting to raise $30,000 for the charity, Mr Flintham will host a clinic at Woodstock on April 8-9 with working dog expert Paul Wroe.
“Paul owns Natel Working Dogs, works for Redcliff Pastoral Company and is a multi-national, state and local working dog champion,” Mr Flintham said.
“Paul has been in the livestock industry for many years and has also been personally affected by suicide.
“Paul will start with eight week old pups introduction to sheep, then progressing to four months, eight months and so on.
“The clinic covers any type of herding dogs of all ages and experience levels.”
The inaugural event is expected to draw people from Townsville, Charters Towers, Ingham, Burdekin with possibly stretch to Mareeba or Clermont. Depending on ticket availability with only 15 positions available.
"Working dog schools bring the bush people out, so hopefully we will have a speaker at each event from beyondblue,” Mr Flintham said.
“I lost a mate to suicide on New Year’s Eve and it absolutely flawed me.
“The scariest part about it all was I rang him on the phone a week before Christmas and I didn't pick up on it at all.
“I wanted to host these schools to raise awareness, as nearly everyone in rural Australia would know someone who has committed suicide or suffered from anxiety or depression.
“Rural mental health is something everyone needs to talk about.”
For more information on other locations and dates visit the Australian Working Stock Dog Facebook page or contact Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0457 537 467.
Anyone who is in need of help can call 24-hour hotlines:
BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636
Lifeline: 13 11 14
MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978