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Media Release: Calendar seeks to promote mental health in local communities

July 28, 2020

New calendar seeks to reduce stigma and promote mental health in drought-affected communities

The calendar shares the stories of 12 community members who are supporting mental health and wellbeing in their communities or have faced challenges of their own.

“There’s no shame in reaching out and help is available if you need it.” That is the key message being promoted in the second edition of the ‘Empowering our communities’ financial year calendar.

Developed in partnership between Neami National’s Health Service Navigator and Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, the calendar aims to reduce stigma and promote awareness of mental health support available for people living in drought-affected communities in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region.

The calendar shares the stories of community members like Farmer Dave (pictured above), who went through a difficult time following a parachuting accident, and Stephanie from the Lifeline Community Connections team, which supports communities to strengthen their knowledge of wellbeing and available supports.

Stephanie says, “If people are starting to struggle, it’s about ensuring they are well connected within their community. When people experience times of stress, understanding what stress looks like for themselves and others around them can be very valuable. With greater knowledge of wellbeing and supports, a community can be better placed to build and nurture a strong safety net.”

Neami National Service Manager Lisa Bamforth says the calendar was developed to show people that if they are going through a difficult time with the drought or other challenges in their life, support is available. Lisa encourages people to ‘speak up’ and ask for help.

“Mental health affects everyone differently and the stories in this calendar are there to remind people that support is available when they need it and that there’s no shame in asking for help” says Ms Bamforth.

The calendar features information about free, confidential support which is available throughout the Darling Downs and West Moreton region and can be delivered over-the-phone, online or face-to-face.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt says that stigma can be a large barrier for people to seek support, particularly in regional and rural communities.

“This Calendar is an important tool to promote awareness of mental health, address stigma, while also being a resource for people to find the right mental health support for them” says Ms Strohfeldt.

Download a copy of the calendar.

Where to seek support

Health Service Navigator

The Health Service Navigator acts as a single point of contact to help people in the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN catchment find and engage with local mental health services. Enquiries from individuals, carers, service providers and GPs are welcome.

Call 1300 012 710 or email navigator@neaminational.org.au

Community Connections

Community Connections helps people access free training and tools to strengthen their knowledge of wellbeing and the supports available in the community.

Call 1300 991 443 or email connect@lifelinedarlingdowns.org.au

People requiring immediate help should call

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78
  • Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

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