Men­tal health

Central Queensland News - - YOUR SAY - — Troy Wat­son, CEO, Mates4Mates — Dale Last, LNP shadow nat­u­ral re­sources min­is­ter

THIS week recog­nised World Men­tal Health Day, an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to raise aware­ness of men­tal health ill­nesses, re­duce as­so­ci­ated stigma and sup­port those af­fected.

One in five Aus­tralians ex­pe­ri­ence a men­tal ill­ness each year, with many close to them also im­pacted. At Mates4Mates we see first-hand the detri­men­tal ef­fect that men­tal health con­di­tions can have on in­di­vid­u­als and their fam­i­lies.

Sadly, many peo­ple still don’t speak up when faced with these chal­lenges due to the stigma that can be as­so­ci­ated with it.

In the Aus­tralian De­fence Force alone, an es­ti­mated 46 per cent of mem­bers who tran­si­tioned from full-time ser­vice within the past five years ex­pe­ri­enced some form of men­tal ill­ness. This may in­clude anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion, sub­stance abuse prob­lems, post-trau­matic stress or other chal­lenges as a re­sult of their ex­pe­ri­ences.

Men­tal health is­sues can af­fect any­one re­gard­less of age, gen­der, ca­reer choice or life ex­pe­ri­ences. The need to in­vest in early in­ter­ven­tion strate­gies to im­prove health and well-be­ing out­comes is greater than ever, and we’re com­mit­ted to work­ing with or­gan­i­sa­tions and com­mu­nity groups to pro­vide ad­e­quate sup­port ser­vices to those in need.

Cur­rent or ex-serv­ing De­fence mem­bers and their fam­i­lies can phone

1300 4 MATES for con­fi­den­tial sup­port or in­for­ma­tion about our ser­vices. Al­ter­na­tively, all Aus­tralians can con­tact Life­line on 13 11 14 or Be­yond Blue on 1300 224 636 for cri­sis sup­port and sui­cide pre­ven­tion. to put on more staff to work with farm­ers. But all we’ve seen from Mr Lyn­ham is the es­tab­lish­ment of a glo­ri­fied call cen­tre.

This gov­ern­ment doesn’t un­der­stand veg­e­ta­tion man­age­ment and it won’t even fund the ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers needed to help farm­ers wade through the moun­tains of bu­reau­cratic red tape they cre­ated.

It’s par­tic­u­larly out­ra­geous when you con­sider this has oc­curred dur­ing a gov­ern­ment hir­ing spree.

An ex­tra 25,000 pub­lic ser­vants have been em­ployed since 2015, most of which have been hired in the state’s south­east and none of which have been em­ployed to help farm­ers.

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