Money for Fly­ing Doc­tor

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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.

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