If you're suffering from mental health issues in Mudgee, there aren't many places you can turn. One group is working hard to bridge that gap. Wellways held a 'Stampede Stigma' free barbecue in Robertson Park in Mudgee recently.
Lone Ashlin from Wellways Mudgee explained what they can offer and what you can do.
"We work with people who are struggling with mental health issues that affect their everyday lives. We support people to reconnect with the community after hospitalisation, to maintain living independently and connect with community and family," Ms Ashlin said.
Just as the stigma around disability is changing so should the stigma around mental health.
"Anyone can be affected by mental illness. Mental health does not discriminate, 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their life and it is possible to recover and lead a healthy and happy life,"
"Talk to each other, be open when you are suffering, be kind and understanding of others that have mental illness. Don't be afraid of people who have schizophrenia or bipolar they are no more likely to harm you than a person without mental illness,"
"Just as the stigma around disability is changing so should the stigma around mental health."
Black Dog offers to train local GPs
In an effort to address the lack of mental health services in regional towns, the Black Dog Institute has announced it will be delivering free mental health training to GPs and Allied Health Professionals working in drought-affected Western NSW.
With limited access to appropriate mental health care, and already at risk of higher suicide rates, those living in Western NSW are enduring a crisis not seen before in their community.
The Black Dog Institute hopes that training GPs and health professionals to better treat and diagnose mental illness for those living in drought-ravaged areas of Western NSW, it will provide the resources this community needs to address the risks placing them in greater danger of suicide and self-harm.
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WSNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Harvey, said the training is sorely needed.
"Communities in our region are under immense pressure because of the prolonged drought, and are experiencing a great deal of stress and anxiety," Mr Harvey said.
"This training will help healthcare professionals provide the support and treatment to people who are in need during this difficult time,"
The Black Dog Institute says the free training program will help health professionals identify sub-types of depression; recognise the various influences that contribute to depression; increase competency in assessing and managing risk in depressed patients; and help in the selection of suitable treatments for those experiencing depression.
- 2 November - Mudgee, NSW
- 1 and 15 February - Dubbo, NSW (GPs only)