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MEDIA RELEASE: It’s time to ‘TALK ABOUT’ mental health!

February 11, 2021

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is calling on community members within the region to ‘talk about’ their experience with mental health services in the region.

Through a short confidential online survey, community members, carers and health professionals can provide feedback on their experience at www.ddwmphn.com.au/talk-about

The PHN launched the TALK ABOUT Campaign in 2020 to ask the community about their experience with health care in the region.

Every quarter (three months) the PHN chooses a topic of focus and asks participants through an online survey to talk about what they think is working well and what they think could be done better.

Information gathered through the survey is used to information the PHN’s Health Needs Assessment (HNA). The HNA is the organisation’s guiding document for deciding what programs to fund, and where to fund them.

PHN Chief Executive Officer Merrilyn Strohfeldt said mental health was chosen as the first topic of focus for 2021 as it continues to be a priority for the PHN.

“Mental health has always been a critical area of work for our PHN however following the events of 2020 and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we know it’s more important than ever for people to have access to timely and effective mental health services,” Ms Strohfeldt said.

“We started the TALK ABOUT Campaign because we want to ensure that the voices of people receiving health care in our region is heard and strongly encourage anyone who has had experience with mental health services to provide their feedback.”

Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said: “I encourage all locals to engage with the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN about their experiences with Mental Health care in our region. We know that alarmingly 50% of all Australians will experience poor mental health in their lifetime. Anything we can do to improve local health services and talk about mental health has to be a good thing.”

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud encouraged residents to participate in the survey and provide feedback on mental health services in the region.

“Access to mental health services in regional areas is one of the biggest issues raised with me, and it’s something I have been advocating for since being elected Member for Maranoa. That’s why it is so important for communities in the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN to get involved in this confidential online survey and share their feedback, to ensure mental health services in the region are accessible and meeting the needs of the community.”

Federal Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton said mental health was a significant challenge in regional communities and he urged locals to talk about it.

“I urge everyone in the Toowoomba region and surrounds to get in touch with a local health service, talk to your GP, reach out – remember you are not alone. We all have challenges and tough times in our lives and there is support out there. I was inspired by the work of Mary O’Brien after hearing her speak recently at the Pittsoworth Men’s Shed on this very topic.”

Topics covered in 2020 included Mums, bubs and kids, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Care for Older Australians and Alcohol and Other Drugs.

The short confidential online survey is currently open and will close at midnight on Sunday, 14 March 2021. To complete the survey, visit www.ddwmphn.com.au/talk-about

- ENDS -

FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT:

Anna Jones
Manager – Media and Communication
M 0499 026 624
E anna.jones@ddwmphn.com.au

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: