12 May 2021
Ms TRISH DOYLE (Blue Mountains) (18:44): Garry Sims runs the Walk 'n' Talk for Life community group in the upper Blue Mountains village of Blackheath. The group meets regularly to walk and talk about what is happening in their lives. Garry is helping people to make connections in the Blue Mountains so that they feel less isolated and lonely, and to improve their mental health. His aim is to prevent suicide. Garry, a police officer and R U OK? community ambassador, decided to become involved in the Walk 'n' Talk for Life community group after growing concerns at the suicide rate in Australia. The walk and talk group welcomes and includes anyone who wants to join. When the group could not get together at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year, Garry turned to technology and encouraged members to connect each week over Zoom. Mental health is a significant issue in our society. I applaud Garry and those who walk with him for their commitment to improving mental health in our Blue Mountains community.