Start the conversation

In the aftermath of losing their brother-in-law to depression, a Traralgon couple hope to bring the topic of suicide to the forefront in the Latrobe Valley.

Courtney and Josh Hellings will open their recently-built play centre, unique adventure ropes course and indoor laser tag arena to the public on Saturday, 15 November at minimal cost in a bid to raise more than $15,000 for beyondblue and a greater awareness of depression.

“We lost him last year so it’s coming up on a year now and it was something that we looked into and the statistic rates (of suicide) in Latrobe Valley is just so high,” Ms Hellings said.

“The rate of suicide in Latrobe Valley is higher than the national rate of Australia, it’s a real issue in the Latrobe Valley and so we want to start the conversation.

“It was something that was brought to our attention in a really dramatic way. We already had plans to build this equipment, so we thought what a better way to bring awareness into the area and to make an event of it.”

With market stalls, visiting characters, a charity auction, wine and cheese tasting, face painting, Mr Whippy, fairy floss and laser tag on offer, Ms Hellings said the event would offer something for people of all ages.

beyondblue will also send a guest speaker to share their story and talk to the community about what they can do to help someone with depression or anxiety.

The Charity Fun Day will run from 10am to 5pm at Park Lane Caravan Park, Princes Highway, Traralgon with entry priced at $5 per person.

For help or information on mental health issues phone Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251 or Lifeline on 131 114, or visit