This month sees Grapevine Group launch its Sharing is Caring campaign by encouraging the community to get involved and download their free app then share it with colleagues, friends and teammates.

Grapevine president Debbie Knight said the life-saving app is a result of many years of hard work by dedicated volunteers.

“We hope the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday community download it and share it with as many people as possible because getting involved with the Sharing is Caring campaign can potentially save many lives.

“Through the app, people can find local help and also book free safeTALK training, access online suicide prevention training or learn warning signs,” Ms Knight said.

Formed in 2004, initially to raise funds for local suicide prevention training, Grapevine Group quickly identified the vital need for better promoted local mental health services.

In moving with the times, they now provide an app containing resources, information and local services to help prevent suicide which is available at people’s fingertips.

For 17 years the group has continued to spread the life-saving message and last year was acknowledged with a national award by Suicide Prevention Australia for their ground-breaking work and enduring efforts.

The Sharing is Caring campaign takes place for the whole month and includes Mental Health Week which runs from 9 to 17 October.

Grapevine Prevention Partner, Mackay Regional Council will hold their own Sharing is Caring Day for staff during Mental Health Week.

Mayor Greg Williamson said council was proud to support the efforts of Grapevine Group and its life-saving app.

“Council’s Sharing is Caring Day will be an excellent opportunity to promote the free app to staff and encourage them to share it with their social networks,” he said.

“We have more than 1000 people employed with council and if each of them download and share the app with their family and friends, we can reach a tremendous amount of people and potentially save a lot of lives.

“I encourage everyone in the community to get involved and support this important project, we want to get as many downloads as possible.”

The campaign is proudly sponsored by DGH and organisations are invited to host their own Sharing is Caring Day where they can encourage their staff to download and share the app any day in October.

A toolkit is available on Grapevine’s website to help promote the campaign on the day. It includes posters, graphics for social media and a draft email.

The app was built by local IT specialist iScape which contributed an incredible $25,000 of in-kind support, subsidising the $42,000.

The balance was made possible through generous local donations.