HALT reaches out to help the community

SUPPORTERS: Jeremy Forbes, Catherine Pilgrim, Jason Mills and Bill Maltby. 
Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
SUPPORTERS: Jeremy Forbes, Catherine Pilgrim, Jason Mills and Bill Maltby. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

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JEREMY Forbes and Catherine Pilgrim are doing everything in their power to stop suicides.

The pair have formed HALT - Hope, Assistance, Local Tradies - in response to the impact of recent suicides in the Mount Alexander Shire.

The initiative is designed to raise awareness about anxiety, depression and well-being in the tradie community.

HALT will host a free Save Your Bacon Breakfast on Tuesday at 8am in the Tonks Yard in Barkers Street, Castlemaine.

"It's targeted at tradies, not  just on job tradies but those people who work in the factories and shops that provide tradies with their goods and services as well, but anyone in the community can come along," Mr Forbes said.

"I'm a tradie and the best place to do it is in your own environment so we're doing it in a hardware store.

"It's something new and something different and we're just starting with basic steps but there's a need in the community."

Mr Forbes said HALT aimed to build a bridge between existing support services for people at risk and the local community.

"We want to facilitate the spreading of information and raise awareness of groups such as Lifeline and beyondblue, and locally, CHIRP," he said.

"We aim to provide practical information regarding mental health services, well-being advice, financial counselling and small business training.

"HALT is not a group of health professionals or mental health experts.

"We are members of the community who want to help in any way we can to support our community."

Mr Forbes said a range on businesses had already shown support for the initiative.

"It all started because there was a recent suicide in Castlemaine and my co-founder rang me up and said she'd like to do something for his family," Mr Forbes said.

"We talked and thought we could reach a broader part of the community."