Braidwood campdrafter, cattleman and business identity, Alan Hannaford, will be the keynote speaker on “mental toughness” at a National Theatre black tie dinner this Saturday, October 15, 6.30pm.
The black tie dinner is an initiative for Mental Health Month to promote awareness and resilience in the community. An auction will follow with proceeds to go to the Anglican Parish for their work in the community.
In the Queanbeyan- Palerang local government area, there are about 10 deaths from suicide per 100,000 population annually.
The NSW Suicide Data Report indicates suicide rates among rural men have increased. The rate of youth suicide in rural areas is 66 per cent higher than in cities.
A number of factors contribute to the high suicide rates in rural and remote areas, including:
Mr Hannaford was born into a cattle farming family. His passions, even as an infant, were obvious to all: horses, cattle, and talking.
From first-hand experience, Mr Hannaford is a “mental toughness” expert.
He was stricken with trigeminal neuralgia in 2010, which left him in excruciating and debilitating pain for years.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a cranial nerve disorder that causes episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the face where the nerve branches are distributed: typically, the lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper and lower jaw.
The attacks of pain generally last several seconds, but may be repeated one after the other, throughout the day. The attacks may come and go and last for days, weeks, or months at a time.
Just touching the area or even air currents can trigger an episode. It has been called “the suicide disease” because people have taken their life to escape the severe, unrelenting pain.
After finally being diagnosed, treated and cured of trigeminal neuralgia, Mr Hannaford has a whole new appreciation of life.
He is a larger-than-life larrikin and uniquely Australian presenter who tells it as he sees it.
“Up until now has only been practise for what is to come,” he says.
To book tickets for the dinner ($60 each, includes a three-course meal), see the Braidwood Community Bank at 93-95 Wallace St.
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