Murray MP Helen Dalton has found an unlikely ally in her campaign for better mental health support in the region - Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian.
Sebastian reached out to Ms Dalton through social media after hearing about a number of suicides in the region and pledged, through The Sebastian Foundation, to deliver a mental health program to 20 schools in the Murray electorate.
Ms Dalton said while the details are not yet finalised the offer will likely cover all schools in the electorate including Deniliquin and Finley.
"It's fantastic," she said.
The Shooters, Fishers, Farmers MP said the suicide rate in Murray was significantly higher than elsewhere and something had to be done.
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The Murrumbidgee region had the highest suicide rate in NSW in 2017, and the second highest in 2018, according to NSW Health.
Ms Dalton said countless young lives had been lost in the electorate and there was a huge need for more support and resources.
"We haven't got a problem, we've got a crisis," she said.
It's not clear yet whether the singer will visit the region himself, but Ms Dalton hopes his involvement will spurn action and lead to more high-profile support for the cause.
Ms Dalton said Sebastian's Open Parachute program has been condoned by mental health charities and covers issues such as bullying and addiction.
For mental health support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue.org.au/
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