SOLIDARITY: Zoe Joseph and ex-local Shanna Whan will return to her hometown to deliver Sober in the Country, a forum aimed at helping women.
SOLIDARITY: Zoe Joseph and ex-local Shanna Whan will return to her hometown to deliver Sober in the Country, a forum aimed at helping women. Tony Harrington

Ex-local returns to deliver women's mental health night

A FORMER St George resident is returning to the Balonne Shire next week to co-present a women's development night, shedding light on personal experiences for the betterment of the community.

Sober in the Country founder Shanna Whan and S.H.E Change's Zoe Joseph are enroute to the Thargomindah Channel Country Ladies Day and have decided to "wheel in” at St George because the region is close to Mrs Whan's heart.

The duo said the night was for women to not just relax, get together and focus on something other than drought but to also to learn some skills around coping with the "busyness” that plagued their modern lives.

Mrs Whan, who grew up working in the agriculture sector, is pursuing endeavours in public advocacy across the rural mental health and addictions space.

As a recovered alcoholic who almost lost her life in 2014, Mrs Whan said her job was to talk about the outback alcohol culture and how we needed to shift the paradigms around how we discussed and helped our high-functioning and professional mates in strife.

"I simply decided to 'be the change' I saw as overdue and necessary in the rural space,” she said.

"What that has done is to create a huge online rural community for those of us all over Australia who understand this struggle - whether it's those wanting to cut back or quit alcohol altogether.

"Our shared purpose is completely simple - we are having inclusive, relatable chats and talking truth about the booze culture and educating others that it is OK to say no to a beer.

"And that conversation is saving lives, breaking stigmas and gaining enormous momentum.”

For details and to book, visit www.shechange.com.au and follow the links to S.H.E Nights or follow either Sober in the Country or S.H.E Change on social media.


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