Flood strain lingers
FAMILIES are still suffering from the floods last year and the more recent drought, according to support workers.
Centacare support workers Vikki Kelly and Julie Blundell said widespread hardships were taking a toll on all residents, but women tended to carry much of the load in families.
“It might be due to the nurturing side of women in general, they tend to put their families before themselves,” Mrs Blundell said.
She said years of supporting stressed husbands and worried children, along with low commodity prices, dry seasons and banks calling in post-flood loans, weighed heavily on the minds of women.
This left them little time for themselves to deal with their own problems,” she said.
“Country people are very strong and good at looking after themselves, but talking with anyone who understands and listens can be such a big help in trying situations.”
Mrs Kelly said maintaining social groups was a great way to find support.
QCWA was once a popular way for rural women to form community ties, but Port Curtis Division president Jan Street said the floods took a huge toll on women in the area and numbers had dropped off significantly for 12 months afterwards.
“A lot went into a bit of a recluse, you know once you stop doing something it can be hard to get back into it, and they just lost so much personally,” Mrs Street said.
“But the friendship people find in QCWA is something that has been very positive for all our members.”
Centacare will host a mental health first aid course on August 18 and 19.
The course is designed to help friends and family learn how best to support struggling loved ones.