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Archive 2012

January

Navigating Teenage Depression – Albury

 

teenage-170wFor parents, teachers and people who work with young people.

Featured speaker: Dale Skinner. Dale is a volunteer community presenter for the Black Dog Institute. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 19 years of age, Dale is passionate about improving peoples understanding and awareness of mood disorders. “By sharing personal experiences of living with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder, I am able to show that the illness does not define who you are and you can beat it”.

This presentation helps people identify early warning signs, with a focus on the importance of early intervention. Navigating Teenage Depression also looks at mental health problems within the context of normal teenage development and associated pressures. The presentation offers practical strategies for communicating with someone who you are concerned about, when and where to go for help, and strategies for building resilience.

Date: Monday 13 February 2012
Time: 6.30pm – 8.00pm
Location: Retro Café, 556 Dean St Albury
RSVP: Phone (02) 9382 4523 or online

 

Take the lead with the Black Dog Institute’s Volunteer Program!

bdi“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart”

Volunteers are a valued asset to the Black Dog Institute team. Their Volunteer Program invites passionate individuals to play a part in achieving the Black Dog Institute’s mission to advance the understanding, diagnosis and management of the mood disorders.

Volunteers are from all walks of life, some of whom have personal experience with a mood disorder. The Black Dog Institute values their volunteers, whose unique talents, skills and qualities enrich their services.

Volunteers can support the Institute in a range of ways, including:

  • Become a Community Presenter and deliver our education presentations to the community.
  • Become a Youth Presenter and deliver our education presentations to young people.
  • Become a Support Group Facilitator for groups of people who are affected by mood disorders.
  • Participate in fundraising activites to raise funds and awareness of mood disorders.

» More information about volunteering with the Black Dog Institute.

» Volunteering online application form

For enquiries about the Volunteer Program, please contact Sarah Connor, Volunteer Coordinator on (02) 9382 9250 or email sarah.connor@blackdog.org.au

BDI-VolunteerProgrambooklet | PDF 1mb

Mental Health First Aid Training Courses – CSU Wagga Wagga


2 day course for CSU Staff, CSU partners and community members
.

Who Should Attend?
csuThe NSW Health funded Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), in collaboration with the Western, Murrumbidgee/Southern NSW Area Health Districts and CSU, are delighted to offer these workshops specifically for CSU staff, CSU partners and invited community members.

Course outline
firstaid
The course covers helping people in mental health crisis situations and/or in the early stages of mental health problems. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems, where and how to get help and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective.

Presenters
Di Gill, Marg Greig, Merilyn Limbrick, (RAMHP), Geoff Simmons (CSU) and Fiona Perrett (SNSW-LHD) (2 per workshop)

What to bring to the course?
All necessary resources are provided although participants are free to take a pen and paper for note taking if they wish.

nswhealth-160wFees
Free of Charge

Venue
TBA

Refreshments
Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon tea are provided at no cost for both days.

Course Applications
Complete the (attached below) registration form and return either electronically, by
post, fax or over the phone to:
Georgia-Lee Pollard
RAMHP MHFA Coordinator,
Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health,
8BLocked Bag 6005 Orange, NSW 2800
P: (02) 6363 8426 F: (02) 6361 2457
M: 0428 693 662
E: georgia.pollard@gwahs.health.nsw.gov.au

For any last minute information please call:
Di Gill on 0427 460 430

ramhprural-remote
Supported by the NSW Health Rural Adversity Mental Health Program ‘RAMHP 11-12’

 

 

Mental Health First Aid Training Courses – CSU Thurgoona


2 day course for CSU Staff, CSU partners and community members
. Who Should Attend? The NSW Health funded Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), in collaboration with the Western, Murrumbidgee/Southern NSW Area Health Districts and CSU, are delighted to offer these workshops specifically for CSU staff, CSU partners and invited community members.
Course outline The course covers helping people in mental health crisis situations and/or in the early stages of mental health problems. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems, where and how to get help and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective.

Presenters Di Gill, Marg Greig, Merilyn Limbrick, (RAMHP), Geoff Simmons (CSU) and Fiona Perrett (SNSW-LHD) (2 per workshop)
What to bring to the course? All necessary resources are provided although participants are free to take a pen and paper for note taking if they wish.
Fees Free of Charge Venue The Boardroom, Gordon Bevan Building, Thurgoona CSU Campus
Refreshments Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon tea are provided at no cost for both days.
Course Applications Complete the (attached below) registration form and return either electronically, by post, fax or over the phone to: Georgia-Lee Pollard RAMHP MHFA Coordinator, Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health, 8BLocked Bag 6005 Orange, NSW 2800 P: (02) 6363 8426 F: (02) 6361 2457 M: 0428 693 662 E: georgia.pollard@gwahs.health.nsw.gov.au For any last minute information please call: Di Gill on 0427 460 430

ramhprural-remote nswhealth-160wfirstaidcsu

 

 

Stressed, depressed or anxious?

 

bdi-vertYou might find it helpful to participate in a new research project with theBlack Dog Institute.

The project is using myCompass, a new internet and mobile phone based program. It aims to help you learn how to better manage your stress, worry and low mood.

Who is eligible?

myCompassThe Black Dog Institute is looking for people to take part in the research study. You can take part if you:

  • Are aged 18 – 75 years and live in Australia
  • Have access to a computer with an internet connection
  • Have a valid email address
  • Are feeling stressed, worried or low
  • Have an internet-enabled mobile phone

Get the full details about the project:

» Black Dog Insitute myCompass project

February 2012

Mental health/depression information night

Glenrock Country Practice invites you to attend a free patient information night.

Date: Tuesday 28th February 2012

Venue: Glenfield Community Hall

Time: 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Topic: Mental health/depression

Please advice reception staff if you are able to attend – ph.02-6971 5000

 

Adjungbilly Cricket Ground – 2013 Charity Match

howard-cricket

You are invited to the
“ACG”

Come and watch 8 charitable teams compete against each other and join our local community in supporting awareness of depression and mental illness in rural Australia.

Date: Saturday 26th October 2013

Time: 9.30am onwards

Venue: “Bongongo” Adjungbilly via Coolac

Food: BBQ provided by Tumut Rotary Club or bring a picnic lunch

Refreshments: BYO

Gate Entry: Adults: $10.00 Children: free

Seating: Bring a chair.

All proceeds will be donated to Riverina Bluebell and the Howard Children Trust Fund

RSVP: 21st October 2013 – Paul & Rachel Graham – Email: bongongo@skymesh.com.au or ph: (02) 6946 6283

** As this is a fundraiser your response either way would be appreciated for catering purposes **

March

Mental Health Awareness workshop

sting

In acknowledgement of the stresses often experienced on a daily basis, the Australian College of Community Services (ACCS) is now offering a FREE 1 day workshop on how to cope in today’s society, how to recognise the signs of stress and anxiety or common mental health issues and how you can help. Delivered on the ‘KISS’ principle, this course keeps it simple.

This is a fun interactive workshop particularly relevant for those who have constant interaction with all cross sections of the public.

Evidence based, this one day course will increase your knowledge of mental health issues, what they look like and how you can help to keep yourself, your family, friends and colleagues safe.

You will learn how to respond to challenging behaviours and de-escalate potentially risky
situations. And at the end of the day how to take the sting out of stress, rejuvenate and re-energise!

Outline:

  • 1 day face to face interactive workshop
  • Qualified experienced instructor from the Australian College of Community Services
  • Refreshments and lunch included
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Valued at $180

Date and time: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 9:00am – 4:00pm
Venue: Carriage House Motor Inn, 7 Eunony Bridge Road, Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

For further information contact:
E: info@accs.qld.edu.au
P: 07 3426 8400
F: 07 3112 4399

mha-registration | PDF 622kb

 

Supporting Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing

supportchildren-info

Your chance to hear from experts in the field on what effective strategies you can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of children as parents, carers, teachers, aides, support workers, case workers or healthcare workers.

Speakers include:

  • Heidi Erickson, KidsMatter Primary NSW Coordinator
  • Bev Denley, teacher, Area Co-ordinator of the ON FIRE Program at Schizophrenia Fellowship Wagga/ Youth and Community Development Officer with Wagga City Council
  • Tash Laroo, psychologist, Riverina Headspace
  • Imelda Burgman PhD, occupational therapist, Early Childhood Development Program Riverina, Autism Spectrum Australia
  • Anne Egan, registered psychologist, NSW Department of Education School Counsellor
  • Alexandra Faulkner, social worker, Manager/ Educator, Relationships Australia

This very unique, FREE event will fill fast – so reserve your place today!

When: Friday March 23 – 9am to 3pm
Where: Main Council Meeting Room, Wagga Wagga City Council (Baylis St), Wagga
Cost: FREE – however you must RSVP by contacting the Northcott Wagga Wagga office on (02) 6921 1996 or by email tocara.dahl@northcott.com.au

PLEASE NOTE Unlike other community seminars Northcott has held recently, this day will NOT have lunch provided – one hour will be set aside for you to find lunch at a nearby café in the Wagga CBD, or alternatively, bring your own lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Proudly presented by Northcott Disability Services Riverina/Murray in partnership with:

supportchildren

» http://www.northcott.com.au     SupportingChildren’sMentalHealth | PDF 744kb

 

 

April

2nd Biannual Merging Minds Conference

merging-minds

Venue Charles Sturt University Convention Centre, Wagga Wagga

CONFERENCE TOPICS

  • Suicide prevention in comorbid mental health settings
  • Strengths based risk assessment
  • Internet based therapies
  • Youth mental health and suicide prevention
  • Consumer insights into suicide prevention
  • Creative expression: giving voice to lived experience

Registration cost: $50 per delegate

Registration is free for up to 20 consumers and carers
BE QUICK– ONLY 200 PLACES AVAILABLE

May

2012 Endurance ride for mental health

coles-242w2012_endurance

 

CANCELLED due to injury

Ride with…

Heath & Neil Cole

12-mapAll riders must register…
Contact Heath:
heath@oxfordprintery.com.au

Participate in community forums at Cootamundra & Griffith.
Speakers include John Harper & Chris Wilson

 

29 Sept TUMBARUMBA
30 Sept TUMUT
1 Oct COOTAMUNDRA –
via Dog on Tuckerbox
2 Oct YOUNG
3 Oct TEMORA
4 Oct GRIFFITH
5 Oct WAGGA WAGGA

info@riverinabluebell.org.au

2012-EnduranceRide-flyer |PDF 708kb

Marrar Community Mental health night

Venue: Marrar Hotel

The night is being organised by The Marrar Progress Ass., Marrar Bombers Football & Netball Club and Riverina Bluebell and we have Joanne Burton as guest speaker.

Our community see this as an extension of our Football and Netball clash with the Northern Jets and a chance to sit down and get helpful advice and recomendations if needed.

Free Bbq at the pub at about 6.30 with the address to start at 7.00.

Contact: Terry Langtry,President Marrar Progress Ass.

 

Men’s health night – Walbundrie

Men’s health specialist Steve Carroll is returning to the Riverina after a number of successful visits to cities and towns in the region in recent months.

Steve Carroll wil host men’s health nigths at 7pm at:

19 June Finley football ground
20 June Urana Bowling Club
21 June Walbundrie football ground

 

Men’s health night – Urana

Men’s health specialist Steve Carroll is returning to the Riverina after a number of successful visits to cities and towns in the region in recent months.

Steve Carroll wil host men’s health nigths at 7pm at:

19 June Finley football ground
20 June Urana Bowling Club
21 June Walbundrie football ground

 

Men’s health night – Finley

Men’s health specialist Steve Carroll is returning to the Riverina after a number of successful visits to cities and towns in the region in recent months.

Steve Carroll wil host men’s health nigths at 7pm at:

19 June Finley football ground
20 June Urana Bowling Club
21 June Walbundrie football ground

 

2012 Riverina Bluebell Cup

The two Riverina Bluebell Challenge Cup in 2012 included two matches.

On Saturday 19th May, the Leeton Whitton Cross played the Narrandera Eagles in the Riverina Football League. The match was held at the Narrandera Sportsground. The games on cup day included three football matches and four netball games.

On Saturday 4th August Marrer play Northern Jets in the Farrer League at Marrar oval. The cup challenge included three football matches and four netball games.

July

Expert Mental Health Care now just a phone call away

mhline-180wEvery resident of NSW will have direct telephone access to expert mental health advice for the first time following the launch of a 24 hour telephone support service.

The NSW Government has established the 1800 011 511 Mental Health Line to ensure that people with a mental health problem, their families and carers can access the care they need whenever and wherever they need it.

The Mental Health Line will, for the very first time, provide people with easy access to expert mental health advice through a single telephone number.

No matter where people live in NSW they will no longer have to search through complicated directories to get help for a mental health problem.

The service heralds a new era of mental health care in NSW; it is a simple and effective way in which people who are worried about mental health issues can receive expert assistance.

The Mental Health Line will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will provide a telephone triage assessment and referral service staffed by mental health clinicians.

By dialling just one number people can speak to a mental health professional and be directed to the most appropriate care.

The Mental Health Line will also be used to provide advice about clinical symptoms, the urgency of the need for care and local treatment options for service providers, such as general practitioners, police and ambulance officers.

Furthermore, any caller who has difficulty navigating the system will be automatically transferred and will receive assistance from a Registered Nurse.

However, it is important to remember the Mental Health Line is not an emergency service. People in a life-threatening situation must still call 000 to receive immediate help.

The Mental Health Line highlights the NSW Government’s commitment to improving mental health outcomes for the people of NSW.

dm12Dramatic Minds Festival

 

Taking the drama out of mental health issues

Venue: Kooringal High School, Wagga Wagga For more information contact Louise Turner ph. 02 6923 5700

DramaticMindsTumut | PDF 1.4mb

 

headstrongAugust

Headstrong

HeadStrong is a powerful presentation for high school students about mental health and wellbeing, mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder), and resilience. Based on a series of engaging and humorous illustrations that convey complex concepts to students, the presentation emphasises wellbeing strategies, help-seeking avenues, early intervention benefits, and works to dispel stigma. » Headstrong

 

 

e-Mental Health Portal launched

scott Colleagues I am pleased to inform you that the national e-Mental Health Portal, mindhealthconnect was recently launched by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler. This new portal provides Australians living with mental illness, and their carers, greater access to online mental health services, information and support. The website acts as a trusted gateway, to help people navigate their way through the abundance of mental health information available online, and facilitates access to appropriate, high quality services. This enables consumers to make informed choices about services appropriate for their needs.

Mindhealthconnect includes information on high prevalence conditions such as depression and anxiety, and includes a number of on-line therapy services and crisis phone lines. It provides visitors to the site with a guided search tool to help point people in the right direction for their needs. New content and services will be added in the next few months along with new functionality as it is developed. Many people will benefit from these services without the need to see a health professional, while others will use these programs in consultation with their health professional. On-line services improve access to mental health care, particularly overcoming issues of distance, cost and stigma. They have been shown to be as effective as face-to-face cognitive based therapy for common conditions such as anxiety and depression. I would recommend you take the time to have a look at this dynamic and user-friendly site which I think looks terrific. Mindhealthconnect was developed by the National Health Call Centre Network with advice from the departmental e-Mental Health Expert Advisory Group which provided valuable input on the content, look and feel of the site. I know the Mental Health Promotions team in the Mental Health Early Intervention and Prevention Branch has worked extremely hard to meet a tight deadline to have the portal launched by 1 July 2012, and I congratulate team members on their efforts. Iain Scott Acting Deputy Secretary

September

craig-202wAn evening with Craig Hamilton

 

Presented by Riverina Bluebell in conjunction with Wagga Brothers Football Club

A tribute to Joe Howard

When: Friday 25th October 2013

Time: 6.30pm for 7.00pm start

Where: Football club rooms, Equex Centre

Cost: $5

RSVP: By 22nd October PLACES LIMITED bookings@riverinabluebell.org.au

Enquiries: Riley Mullins – 0422 456549 Jane Lee – 6924 6463 or 0407 803720

Refreshments available

craigHflyer |PDF 659kb

October

Youth Mental Health Promotions Worker

YouthMentalHealthPositionLaunch | PDF 75kb

 

Notice of AGM

The AGM of Riverina Bluebell will be held on 18th October 2012 at 9.30am.
Venue: 98 Gurwood Street, Wagga Wagga.
Contact: Diana Austin, Secretary, fdaustin(at)activ8.net.au

November

Have your say!


crrmhDo you want to have your say about health related telephone support services available to rural and remote communities in NSW?

The University of Newcastle’s Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health is conducting a survey to gain an understanding of community members perceptions of health related telephone support services available to rural and remote communities in NSW.

The survey, open to residents and service providers aged 18 and over in rural and remote NSW, includes a series of open and closed ended questions asking you about your awareness, knowledge and perceptions of health telephone support services available. A particular focus of the survey is mental health telephone support.

To find out more information and to complete the survey please go to:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VFKDP8K

To receive hard copies of the survey please contact:
Helen Le Gresley, Research Assistant, Rural Adversity Mental Health Program
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
email: helen.legresley@newcastle.edu.au
phone:(02) 63 63 8444.

This study has been approved by the University of Newcastle’s Human Research Ethics Committee, Approval Number H-2012-0348.

 

Mental health care scores F for failure in first report card

The Sydney Morning Herald 28 November 2012

Melissa Davey Health Reporter MENTAL health services are in an ”appalling” state, the chairman of the National Mental Health Commission said as the inaugural national report card on mental health was launched. Allan Fels said on Tuesday that Australia had failed in its delivery of mental health services and called on the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to keep mental health as a priority. ”Every five years or so something is done about mental health and then it gets forgotten, but the government now needs to actually implement their policies,” Professor Fels said. “The statistics related to physical illness and early death among people with a mental health difficulty are appalling. ”People with a severe mental illness have their life expectancy reduced by 25 years on average due to the increased likelihood of heart-related conditions, diabetes and obesity.” The commission had been given the independence to ”tell it like it is”, he said, adding that the report had uncovered hard truths about mental health services in Australia. The report, called A Contributing Life: the 2012 Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, recommended reducing the early death of Australians with severe mental illness and improving their physical health; increasing access to home-based visits to support families and children; providing local interventions to prevent suicide; and minimising the use of seclusion and restraint. Employment rates of people with mental illness also needed to be increased, the report found, with greater attention to workplace support. The federal Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, admitted ”there is more road ahead of us than there is behind us”. He said a further $4.5 million would be directed to preventing suicide by indigenous people, a major issue identified by the commission. “We asked the National Mental Health Commission to put Australia’s mental health services under the spotlight to give us insights into service gaps, where governments need to do more and where services are working well,” Mr Butler said. “The report card will be produced by the commission every year and will provide guidance to all governments.” The NSW Mental Health Minister, Kevin Humphries, said for reform to occur, there needed to be less focus on announcements by the federal government and more focus on delivery. But a major review of the NSW mental health system released this month recommended the state system was also in need of overhaul, with services stretched and under-resourced. The commissioner for disability discrimination, Graeme Innes, said workplaces, support services and families had to be a major part of any reform across the country. ”As such, it changes from just being a medical issue to a focus on the whole person, and how they can become and remain a contributing part of our community,” he said. ”I strongly support this change.” The chief executive of the Consumer Health Forum, Carol Bennett, said she was pleased the commission had for the first time provided comprehensive detail on people’s experiences of mental illness. ”We have consistently said more research into consumer experience and satisfaction is needed to better understand treatment outside of the clinical context,” she said. An estimated 3.2 million Australians live with mental health issues, at a cost of about $20 billion every year.

NMHC_ReportCard_Lo-res | PDF 2mb

 

Report to Help Tackle Suicide in Rural and Remote Areas

MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing 20 November 2012 A new report launched by the Minister for Mental Health, Mark Butler, in Adelaide today has found that rural and regional communities face unique challenges in preventing and recovering from suicide. Mr Butler said the report – Suicide in rural and remote areas of Australia – confirms the need to address suicide in rural and remote Australia in a way that recognises the specific experience of those communities. “Suicide is devastating for families and communities, and we know that rural, regional and remote communities face rates of suicide around 20-30% higher than in metropolitan areas,” Mr Butler said. “It’s important that we have up to date and comprehensive research to help inform the policy initiatives being rolled out on the ground in these communities.” “This report is a timely reminder of the ongoing and critical need for mental health reform to improve the lives of Australians experiencing and affected by mental illness.” “The Gillard Government has a concrete reform plan focused on better access to services, better detection, better targeting and better coordination.” The report assessed a range of data to make practical findings including that:

  • Higher rates of agricultural industry employment were associated with higher male suicide rates in rural areas.
  • Divorce and unemployment were associated with higher male suicide rates in rural areas.
  • Rural areas with higher levels of education had lower suicide rates.
  • Work and financial problems strongly predicted suicide in rural areas.
  • Protective factors included access to health services such as GPs, and supportive family relationships.

Mr Butler said the Federal Government was redoubling its efforts in suicide prevention, including with a range of programs specifically targeted at regional and rural communities. “The Government is investing more than $292 million in suicide prevention projects through the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide package and the National Suicide Prevention Program.” “As part of that investment we’re providing $14.17 million for community based suicide prevention projects that primarily target rural and remote areas, such as the Farm-Link project and the Community Broadcasting Suicide Prevention project.” “We’re also providing funding for the national expansion of the Wesley LifeForce project and the StandBy service, which will help rural and regional communities prevent suicide, as well as helping those bereaved by suicide.” “Our suicide prevention efforts nationally also include the $40.5 million ATAPS suicide prevention program, delivered through Medicare Locals including those covering rural and remote parts of Australia, which will assist more than 40,000 Australians at risk of suicide with practical services and support.” The Government’s $2.2 billion package of broader mental health reforms are also building the community wellbeing, resilience and good mental health that help reduce suicide rates, through a range of online, telephone and in person services. “Having access to good mental health services is an effective way to address and help reduce suicide in our community, because we know that the greatest single risk factor for suicide is mental illness,” Mr Butler said. Mr Butler launched the report at the annual Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium in Adelaide. The report can be viewed on the Living is for Everyone website. For more information, contact the minister’s office on 02 6277 7280 Project Details Under the National Suicide Prevention Program, funding is being provided to approximately 20 projects that target populations in rural and remote areas. Examples include:

  • Farm-Link project ($668,000 over 2011-2 to 2012-13) – Coordinated through the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health at the University of Newcastle, the project aims to increase the support for Australian farmers, workers and their families in rural and remote Australia by increasing the training and support available to local practitioners offering mental health services;
  • Community Broadcasting Suicide Prevention project ($750,700 over 2011-2 to 2012-13) – Through satellite and local radio, this project provides help-seeking and wellbeing messages to a wide and diverse network nationally including to Indigenous, rural and remote and CALD communities.

Under the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide (TATS) package, funding is being provided over 4 years for the national expansion of the following projects. These expansions will cover a wide range of rural and remote areas.

  • The Wesley LifeForce ($4.8M) program builds community capacity to engage in suicide prevention activity, improves access to appropriate services and supports those at risk of suicide and bereaved by suicide. Funding under the TATS package will allow the establishment and support of a further 21 Wesley Life Networks and delivery of 144 additional education seminars and workshops, in addition to the development of more targeted training packages and online support for the Networks.
  • The StandBy Suicide Bereavement Response Service ($6.9M) provides a 24 hour face-to-face response service for those bereaved by suicide, training for front line emergency response services in the community, and coordination of suicide response services. Funding provided under the TATS package will be used to establish and maintain new service sites in currently underserviced regions nationally.

Higher suicide rates in remote regions

DA22Nov12SAD REFLECTION: Sunflower House manager Lisa Wilkins and CEO of the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW, Rob Ramjam. Picture: Michael Frogley
The Daily Advertiser 22 November 2012

A SPATE of 13 suicides within nine weeks in the Riverina is evidence of the mental health crisis facing communities in regional and remote areas of Australia. A Suicide in Rural and Remote Areas of Australia report, compiled at the request of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, has shown disproportionately high rates of suicides in remote regions compared to metropolitan areas.

Statistics from Queensland showed men in remote areas were 2.6 times more likely to die by suicide and rural, regional and remote communities face rates of suicide around 20 to 30 per cent higher than in metro areas. Schizophrenia Fellowship chief Rob Ramjam AM, who was in Wagga yesterday for the five-year anniversary of Sunflower House, said the report was consistent with issues in this area. “There have been clusters of suicides in the Murrumbidgee area, in one case there were 13 suicides within nine weeks,” Mr Ramjam said. “All of those were men from the land.” Some of the deaths heard about are by fourth or fifth generation farmers, who for them it’s not just about losing their job but their heritage.” There is no question over the last few years that the greatest risk is the bloke on the land.” The report showed that regional communities face unique challenges in preventing and recovering from suicide including social isolation, economic stresses and lack of availability of services. A number of key recommendations were made in the report, including the provision of greater support to farming communities. “The beauty of this announcement is the commitment to a string of national programs,” Mr Ramjam said. “Right now, as far as I am aware, there is no specific program available nationally but there are good local programs.” Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler announced the federal government would refocus its efforts in suicide prevention including a range of programs specifically targeted at rural communities. As a part of a $292 million investment, $14.17 million will be given for community-based prevention projects. “Having access to good mental health services is an effective way to address and help reduce suicide in our community because we know that the greatest single risk factor for suicide is mental health,” Mr Butler said. How you can help someone you think is experiencing depression: – Don’t pressure them to cheer up or snap out of it. – Don’t assume the problem will go away – Spend time listening to them about their experiences – Do suggest they see a doctor or health professional – Encourage them to become involved in social activities, exercise and eat well If you notice symptoms of depression, stress or not coping for longer than two weeks, the following services are available: – Visit your GP. They can refer you to a psychologist or counsellor for services such as the free Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative. – Murrumbidgee Local Health District AccessLine. This service is available 24 hours on 1800 800 944. – Wagga Base Hospital Emergency Department – Lifeline 1300 131 114 – Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 – Mensline 1300 789 978 – beyondblue 1300 224 636 – Emergency triple-0 (000) » MEDIA RELEASE Minister Hon Mark Butler, Minister for Mental Health and Ageing

Report-RuralRemote | PDF 245kb

 

A great cricketing milestone!

Congratulations to The Adjungbilly Hillbillies, Adjungbilly Cricket Ground Charity Match champions for 2012.

A great day was had by all with significant funds raised to support local families and the community more broadly dealing with hardship and mental illness.

The Adjungbilly Hillbillies with John Bull, Chair of
Riverina Bluebell
winning-team
The Riverina Bluebell team
rb-team
Scary kids!
scary-kids

December

R U OK?Day

 R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?’

» R U OK?Day

 

A winning day for Adjungbilly

 The Rural

Nov. 28, 2012

therural-cricket

It has taken four years for the Adjungbilly Hillbillies to win the cricket title at a charity competition at “Bongongo”, Adjungbilly.

The recent competition included eight teams and the event raised $10,000 for charities and causes including Riverina Bluebell – a small charitable organisation of volunteers based in Wagga – and also to a local Adjungbilly family, who lost their home and personal belongings in a house fire last year.

The classic catch of the day winner was Brad Lee, most wickets taken in a game went to Chris Kingwill and the highest number of runs scored in a game was earned by Daniel Attwood.

John Harper representing Riverina Bluebell spoke about the importance of helping mates who might be suffering and said not to hold back if you think someone is not coping.