Newcastle Permanent employees donate more than $13,000 to Black Dog Institute

Newcastle Permanent employees donate more than $13,000 to Black Dog Institute

Employees of Newcastle Permanent have donated over $13,300 to Black Dog Institute which will help with the second trial of LifeBuoy, an app designed to help young people manage their suicidal thoughts and distress in daily life.

Having started in 1997, this sees the Newcastle Permanent CommunityAssist Employee Donation Program surpass $1 million donated to worthy charities.

The donation came about from a nomination by Mobile Banking Manager, Mark Iuliano who wanted to contribute to Black Dog Institute following the death of his brother-in-law, Gus, in March this year.

“Gus had a mental health condition but had been working through things,” Mark said.

“In March it must have got to a point where it got too much, and he saw no way forward. Gus was 38 when he died, with three children aged 18 and younger, so it’s been really difficult for his kids, as well as his sisters, his parents, and his family and friends.”

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, approximately 3,000 people die by suicide each year in Australia, with suicide being the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 44.

Shortly after Gus died by suicide, nominations for Newcastle Permanent’s CommunityAssist Employee Donation Program opened.

Each year, employees donate around $60,000 via payroll deductions to nominate charities they believe deserve support.

Employees then vote to select four a year to receive funding.

Mark saw a donation to Black Dog Institute as an opportunity to commemorate his brother in law’s life.

“Gus must have reached out to the Black Dog Institute in the past, because one birthday he asked for donations to Black Dog Institute instead of buying him presents,” Mark said.

“Making a donation to Black Dog Institute seemed like the best way to honour his memory.

“I’ve always contributed to the CommunityAssist Program and while I’ve voted, I’d never nominated before. But this time, when the call for nominations went out, I just thought I’d put Black Dog Institute out there and see what happens.

“Being able to say to my partner that we were able to do this, we did it for Gus, then to be able to let Gus’ sisters and his mum and dad know that the organisation I work for is going to donate this money – and it’s a substantial amount – I’m just really grateful for the support from my colleagues and the business as a whole,” Mark said.

The LifeBuoy app is a new Australian trial, which will help researchers at the Black Dog Institute confirm that it is safe and effective therapeutic tool to help people self-manage suicidal thoughts.

Head of Partnerships at Black Dog Institute, Tasman Cassim explained how the money will be used to help deliver of the latest LifeBuoy trial.

“The generosity we have seen from Newcastle Permanent employees is exceptional and greatly appreciated,” Tasman said.

“The money will be used to cover trial costs associated with recruiting participants, and financing lived experience youth advisors to help the research team understand what the results mean for young people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

“Involving lived experience will help us to get key findings out to the community and young people in ways that best support understanding and uptake of digital tools, such as LifeBuoy, by those in need.”

 

IMAGE | The donation came about from a nomination by Mobile Banking Manager, Mark Iuliano who wanted to contribute to Black Dog Institute following the death of his brother-in-law, Gus.

Newcastle Permanent

As a complete retail financial services provider, Newcastle Permanent provides a genuine alternative to traditional banks for a range of financial services including the day to day needs of business banking members.

Besides an extensive network of branches and ATMs, Newcastle Permanent also offers comprehensive electronic banking services that allow their members to conveniently and efficiently conduct their financial business.

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