Grease and Oil Change takes important conversation online

Cherie Stitt and Melissa Brown coordinating Grease and Oil Change online, and keeping up to date with the very active chat section.
Cherie Stitt and Melissa Brown coordinating Grease and Oil Change online, and keeping up to date with the very active chat section.

Same heart, different delivery.

Grease and Oil Change has always been about providing a space for rural people to have conversations about mental health and to learn positive mental health strategies.

That didn't change this year as the event went online, and there were plenty of good things to come of the COVID-enforced change.

Hosting Grease and Oil Change online has given organisers an opportunity to re-imagine it, Cherie Stitt says.

The online format meant people were able to tune in from home who hadn't been able to attend in person before.

A busy chat section showed a high level of engagement, and there were also those who were able to listen while they completed other tasks.

However, a lot more people booked in for the event than attended.

While everyone who signed up will get a link to an edited version of the presentations, it's something the organisers will keep in mind as they consider future events.

Cherie says this year's program once again brought together wonderful speakers, whose presentations worked together beautifully.

Mary O'Brien shared from her program, "are you bogged mate?" which she developed while working with men in the farming community, and Robyn Lynch, founder of The Perfect Health Centre.

Former NRL player and WBF champion Joe Williams shared his story of battling with suicidal ideation and bipolar disorder while forging a successful sporting career.

Each year there's something different for participants to try, from yoga to cooking, this year the focus was on art with Dr Clare Britt and child's play with local therapist Di Healey - and how they contribute to wellbeing.

For Cherie, bringing such a diverse group to the table each year opens to door to every attendee to follow up with those who really resonate.

The event wrapped up with a Q and A with Trundle's Dr Mark Gray, Cherie and co-organiser Melissa Brown.

The number one question that came up was about where to seek help if you're struggling, or see someone struggling: your local GP is a good first point of contact.

Grease and Oil Change is free to participants each year, this year it was delivered with the support of local businesses.

It's now been up and running for five years in Trundle and Forbes, and continues to grow.

  • If you or someone you know is in need of help, please reach out for support. Go to a GP, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 131114 or the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511. In an emergency always call 000 (triple zero).