RFDS gets se­ri­ous about men­tal health

Western Times - - NEWS - Laura Telford laura.telford@balon­nebea­con.com.au

THE Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice is a ne­ces­sity when liv­ing in the Queens­land Out­back, with the life­sav­ing med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties al­ways on call to help when there is a med­i­cal emer­gency.

At the South­ern Dis­trict QCWA con­fer­ence last week, mem­bers lis­tened to a key­note ad­dress given by Jackie Ste­wart, from the RFDS Well­be­ing Pro­gramme.

“The Break­ing Down Bar­ri­ers theme pro­vides the per­fect back­ground for a talk in men­tal health,” Mrs Ste­wart said.

“One in six re­mote Aus­tralians ex­pe­ri­ence a men­tal dis­or­der, which is the same for city peo­ple yet sui­cide and self harm in re­mote Aus­tralians is twice as likely.”

Mrs Ste­wart also said of all the RDFS re­cov­er­ies in the last 12 months, 2567 were for men­tal health emer­gen­cies.

“20-30 years ago can­cer was spo­ken about in the hushed tones men­tal health is cur­rently talked about, but I hope in less than that time we be­gin to talk about men­tal health in the same way we now talk about can­cer.,” she said.

PHOTO: LAURA TELFORD

RDFS WELL­BE­ING: QCWA ladies lis­tened to a talk by Jackie Ste­wart (sec­ond left) on Thurs­day.

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