Alister Porter wanted his mates to stay happy.
As a sporting club they’d had a “tough couple of years”.
After hearing The Resilience Project founder Hugh van Cuylenburg speak in Melbourne, the Merrivale footballer worked to bring him to Warrnambool.
“I wanted to help my friends who had been affected by several suicides in the area,” Mr Porter said.
His 12-month project was fruitful and the event scheduled for 23 May is already sold out.
“It started as a Merrivale club event,” he said.
“Mainly I just wanted my mates to go along.
“But it grew and sold out in just weeks.”
Mr Porter said the message behind Mr Van Cuylenburg’s teachings was simple.
“Hugh’s story is a good story. It’s about training yourself not to get so down,” he said.
“And its also about learning the skills to help stay happy.”
The number of bookings sent its own message.
“Obviously there’s a community need for it,” Mr Porter said.
“We have had bookings from sporting clubs and schools from Ballarat, Portland and all over Warrnambool.”
“And it was only advertised on Facebook for two weeks.”
The Resilience Project’s motto is ‘teaching young Australians to be mentally healthy’.
It has joined teaching programs in over 300 schools Australia-wide.
The NRL, Cricket Australia, The Australian Netball team and 11 AFL sides have also implemented its teachings.
Mr Porter said the programs included guidance he and his mates might have missed.
“I think this kind of training missed our age group,” he said.
“I mean they might cover this sort of thing in schools now but they didn’t back then.”
The Resilience Project event will be held in the Wannon Rooms at the Warrnambool’s Showgrounds on Tuesday night.
“We were going to have it here at the Whalers (Hotel),” Mr Porter said.
“But we kept selling tickets and we wouldn’t all fit.”
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Alternatively phone Headspace on 1800 650 890.