Beyond Bins raise $13,000 for rural mental health

Mac Armytage, Riverina Bluebell, Heath Hutcheon and Tanya Edyvean, Coolamon Chaser Bins, and Chris Wilson, Riverina Bluebell, during the hand over of money raised at six national field days.

A brightly coloured chaser bin at the Henty Machinery Field Days was used to raise $13,000 for mental health and well being in the rural areas.

Riverina farm machinery manufacturer, Coolamon Chaser Bins, showcased their chaser bin with brightly coloured magnets highlighting anxiety, depression and suicide at the Henty, Mingenow, Dowerin, Agquip, Newdgate and Yorke Peninsula machinery field days.

Coolamon Chaser Bins general manager Heath Hutcheon said the company donated $1000 from every bin sold at the field days during August and September last year to Riverina Bluebell under the initiative, Beyond Bins.

Mr Hutcheon said the company was keen to create awareness around mental health after a long-time employee was lost to suicide in 2017.

Coolamon Chaser Bin staff received counselling support from Riverina Bluebell and returned the favour by donating $13,000 from Beyond Bins.

“We are here not to just present a cheque but to reflect on a colleague and mate we have lost,’’ Mr Hutcheon said.

“From a business point of view, we are proud of the way all staff handled themselves.

“It was a tough thing we all went through together as a group

“The idea of Beyond Bins went on to create awareness not just locally, but nationally.’’

Riverina Bluebell vice chairman Chris Wilson praised the staff at Coolamon Chaser Bins for listening, understanding and utilizing the key messages around mental health.

“There is no shame in having a mental illness – it’s a bloody shame if you don’t do something about it,’’ Mr Wilson said.

“It’s not contagious so you won’t catch anything if you ask are you okay.

“It’s about living a better life, being positive, creating better mental well being amongst yourselves, your families, and encouraging others to speak up, speak out and ask for help.’’