LONGTIME friends Lizz Kelly and Sheryn McDowell are working to establish a mental health hub in Terang.
Ms Kelly's son, Thomas Vickers, was 20 when he died by suicide on November 30, 2021.
Now the pair are working towards creating a welcoming and safe space for anyone who wishes to drop in and talk about their mental health.
The mothers are studying a Certificate IV in Mental Health through Open Colleges so they can run the service themselves.
"We're going to do our hardest to make this all happen and make it successful not just for now but also our future generations," Ms Kelly said.
The course runs for 18 months but the pair hope to have the hub up and running in about a year, pending finding a location.
"It's going to be a really big achievement but if we can at least save one or two families from going through what we've been through it will be worth it," Ms Kelly said.
"(It's) just to have local support and (for people to) go and have a chat with someone they're comfortable with.
"That is what we want - sometimes it's all somebody needs."
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Ms Kelly said there were no mental health services in Terang, so her son had to travel to Camperdown and Warrnambool for treatment for depression - and even then it was sometimes hard to get an appointment.
She said there were many ideas "going on in my head" on how the service would look, which would also be determined by funding.
The pair plan to host a range of events including a remembrance walk for families who have lost someone to suicide to raise money to establish the hub.
It's going to be a really big achievement but if we can at least save one or two families from going through what we've been through it will be worth it.- Lizz Kelly
Ms Kelly said the hub would assist the farming families in Terang to not have to travel more than an hour for treatment.
She said she was grateful for the support of south-west communities and organisations for the hub.
Ms McDowell said they were also looking at getting additional practitioners into the service.
"We call it a hub because we just want somewhere comfortable for people to come in and open up and maybe we can direct them to someone else or come to it and they might leave happy and content," she said.
"Our aim is to help someone else to not go through what Lizz and my families have gone through."
She said residents also sometimes had to travel to Geelong, Ballarat or Colac to access services.
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