Flood strain lingers

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

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