Se­ri­ous topic cov­ered in a not-so-se­ri­ous way

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By LANA MUR­PHY

THE El­more com­mu­nity will gather on Fri­day to talk about some­thing im­por­tant — men­tal health.

But or­gan­is­ers from El­more Pri­mary Health Ser­vices say it won’t be a clin­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s a night of fun and com­mu­nity bond­ing.

The “It’s OK to Talk” din­ner at the memo­rial hall starts at 6.30pm and will in­clude a meal.

Over din­ner ex­pe­ri­enced clin­i­cians, doc­tors and phys­i­ol­o­gists will talk about how guests can ac­cess the sup­port ser­vices are avail­able.

‘‘Ru­ral peo­ple of­ten will not talk of their prob­lems if con­fronted in­di­vid­u­ally,’’ prac­tice man­ager Kathy Tuo­hey said.

‘‘How­ever if the at­mos­phere and the set­ting is right then we be­lieve our guests will ben­e­fit from the ad­vice from our pre­sen­ters.’’

Ev­ery four days a farmer dies from de­pres­sion.

That’s the lat­est statis­tic from anti-de­pres­sion or­gan­i­sa­tion be­yond­blue. Ac­cord­ing to a drought re­lief state­ment, de­pres­sion has cer­tainly taken hold in ar­eas, where farm­ers are strug­gling to earn an in­come.

“They say you’re half mad to be a farmer, and prob­a­bly over the last few years that’s ring­ing true. But it’s in our blood – that’s what we do. We take it se­ri­ously,” it read.

Kathy said it was vi­tal to in­volve women at the din­ner.

‘‘It is of­ten over­looked that women play a key role in farm­ing. They of­ten carry the bur­den of the fi­nances, where they have got to make ends meet. Of­ten they will seek an ex­tra job just to make ends meet. This stretches them phys­i­cally and men­tally to the lim­its,’’ she said.

‘‘The aim of this event is to let our com­mu­ni­ties know there are peo­ple out there who care, and can give them some tools to help them cope. Farm­ers will speak out more freely if they feel com­fort­able to do so.’’

Men­tal health speaker and co­me­dian Mark McConville will travel in­ter­state es­pe­cially for this event.

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