Ladies come together
Raising awareness for rural mental health
THERE’S no doubt that rural men and women are as tough as they come.
Although they may wear smiles on their faces, if you scratch below the surface they can be feeling the exact opposite of happy – especially during a drought.
The recent Rural Women Unite Ladies Luncheon highlighted the importance of mental health awareness in rural areas.
One of the speakers at the event was Dervla Loughnane from Virtual Psychology who flew to Rockhampton from the Gold Coast for the event.
During her talk, she provided the women with some helpful tools to help
themselves or others with mental health.
“People service their cars, but they don’t think to check on themselves,” she said.
“There’s an acronym I want you all to remember, SAMMEFA.
“It stands for sleep, appetite, mood, motivation, energy, focus and concentration and anhedonia.
“Ask yourself ‘Am I getting enough sleep?’, ‘How has my appetite been? Am I eating more or less than usual?’, ‘What has my mood been like?’, ‘Have I had motivation?’, ‘Do I have less energy than I usually do?’, ‘Am I getting distracted?’ and finally ‘Do I still enjoy the things I love to do?’.”
She said their text line allowed people who are struggling to instantly talk to a psychologist.
“These days nearly everyone has access to a mobile phone and being in rural areas it is hard to just go to appointments,” she said.
“The conversation can start however you want, you can say ‘help’ or even just ask about the weather.
“Anti-depressant medication doesn’t work for everyone, so it’s important to reach out for the help when you need it.”
Help is also available through Lifeline on 13 11 14.
NEW TOOLS: Tracey Hick, Tanya Wight, Kylie Maguire and Debbie Haigh attend the luncheon which gave them new resources for dealing with mental health. More social photos on Page 16. PHOTOS: GEORDI OFFORD
Dervla Loughnane from Virtual Psychology spoke at the luncheon about the company’s text line.