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Boost For Mental Health Projects

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Agriculture Minister and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud

February 12, 2019

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN – the primary health network which covers the South Burnett and south-west Queensland – has secured an extra $187,000 drought-relief funding from the Federal Government.

The money will be used to deliver programs which aim to enhance the mental well-being of people dealing with drought.

“Families, farmers and business owners are put under immense mental strain because of drought,” Agriculture Minister and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said.

“One of the best steps we can take is to learn how to manage the mental strain of drought and persevere with an optimistic mind through tough times.”

A total of 25 community-led programs and events, administered by Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, will encourage conversation and best practice regarding mental health challenges, suicide prevention and social and emotional well-being.

“In order to get on top of mental illness we need to be proactive and engage with mental health professionals and participate in well-being sessions – there is no judgment in that,” Mr Littleproud said.

Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Qld will also receive extra funding to train local residents so they can support people affected by mental illness.

The program, called Community Connections, will teach participants how to recognise people dealing with mental stress and provide guidance about professional support choices.

“During drought we really need to be actively listening and watching what is going on with loved ones, colleagues or friends,” Mr Littleproud said.

The programs and events to be offered include:

  • Well-being and mindfulness sessions
  • CALM suicide prevention training
  • Support for AgForce Qld Young Farmers Forum
  • Self-care workshop delivered by a psychologist
  • “Navigating Through Tough Times for Farming Community” workshops
  • Drumming workshops to improve mental health and teach anxiety and stress reduction strategies

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