NewAccess mental health coach Gemma Danahay with Andrew Saal, from Lives Lived Well

October 13, 2023

Two local community groups hosted a free community barbecue in the Kingaroy Town Hall Forecourt on Thursday evening to mark Mental Health Week.

The event was hosted by the South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group, chaired by Cr Danita Potter, and the new Head To Health service which is due to open in Kingaroy before Christmas.

Head To Health will be located next door to the ROOMS Motel (the former Pioneer Lodge Motel) in Kingaroy Street.

Local support services and Queensland Health offered a range of information at a string of stalls in the Forecourt.

Kingaroy Rotary members were also kept busy serving up free sausages on bread.

One of the service providers was Lives Lived Well, which provides support for alcohol, drug and mental health issues from its headquarters in Haly Street, Kingaroy.

At the stall was Gemma Danahay who is a Beyond Blue NewAccess mental health coach.

The NewAccess program aims to support people navigating the stresses of everyday life.

Gemma uses a low-intensity Cognitive Behaviour Therapy coaching program which has been developed by Beyond Blue.

“More and more people are coming to me due to financial stress, as cost of living pressures escalate. The other main issues are relationship problems, work stresses, grief and loss and sudden life changes,” Gemma said.

“I have found many people are looking for more than just someone to talk to, they want to walk away with practical suggestions. In mental health coaching, people receive proactive skills and tools to work on the problems affecting their mental health.

“Part of coaching is also around relapse prevention, so any dips in mood are an opportunity to explore early warning signs and what helps the person feel better so that they know what to do with any future drops on the roller coaster of life.”

* * *

Five practical coaching tips from Beyond Blue to help relieve stress:

  • Deal with problems one at a time – break down problems into bite-size pieces
  • Notice common thinking traps – all-or-nothing thinking, self-blame, repetitive thinking
  • Have realistic goals – make it achievable, it doesn’t have to be perfect
  • Balance is key – schedule pleasurable activities as well as work/family commitments
  • Healthy habits – keep both body and mind healthy
Gus Napier, Bev Watter and Neil Black, from Kingaroy Rotary, were serving up sausages
Andrea McGee, from Centacare Community Centre, and Kaelene Fairbrother, from Impact Community Services
South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group members Deb Emery (CTC Family Services), chair Cr Danita Potter and Margie Hams (Head To Health)
Lee-Anne Reinbott and Brett Reeve, from CTC Family Services
Megan Theobald, from Queensland Health’s Kingaroy Mental Health Services
Karis Ros was promoting Darling Downs Indigenous Health Unit’s STaY suicide prevention program at Cherbourg … STaY stands for Sit Talk and Yarn



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