Money for Flying Doctor
The Royal Flying Doctors Service has an extra $17,228 to spend on its mental-health programs after a unique money-raising effort from Wimmera farmer Ben Brooksby.
Mr Brooksby, creator of The Naked Farmer, presented a cheque to the service earlier this month in support of its Flying Doctor Wellbeing program.
His donation will aid the expansion of the mental-health service throughout rural and remote communities in Victoria, including Edenhope, Warracknabeal and Hopetoun.
Service chief executive Scott Chapman praised Mr Brooksby, who sold calendars featuring stripped-down farmers to support the service and aid mental-health awareness.
“There are many worthy causes to support and it takes a unique approach such as this to have an impact,” Mr Chapman said.
“It’s critical to raise awareness of mental health issues in rural and remote communities, both to increase the community’s knowledge of mental health issues and increase their capacity to respond when people are in need.”
Mr Chapman said the extension of the Flying Doctor Wellbeing program extension meant more Victorians would be able to access mental health support, when long travel times and stigma might have previously made this difficult.
“Remote Australians see mental health professionals on average at one fifth the rate of city people,” he said.
“Seeing a mental health worker can mean hours of travel, which is a barrier to getting help when it’s needed.”
“The Flying Doctor has a long history in caring for rural and remote residents.
“We are proud to offer a mental health service that supports people during tough times like droughts, fires and even floods.”
The service provides access to six free and confidential sessions with a mental health clinician and does not require referral from a doctor.
People can make an appointment or find out more about the service by calling 8412 0480 or emailing wellbe[email protected]
People can also phone Grampians 24-hour Mental Health Triage Service on 1300 661 323.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800, Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.