Mental health support diaries now available

Diary supporters.png

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) has released a new undated financial year diary, which is free to people in the Murrumbidgee impacted by drought.

The diaries contain helpful information about mental health and wellbeing, and is supported by NSW Farmers, Ag ‘n’ Vet, Hutcheon & Pearce, IK Caldwell, Rabobank, Henty Machinery Field Days, Rural Financial Counselling Services (NSW Southern Region), Riverina and Murray Local Land Services, Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, Riverina Joint Organisation, Riverina and Murray Joint Organisation and Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD).

MPHN CEO Melissa Neal said the diaries are an initiative of its drought steering committee, which helps make decisions on activities funded under the Australian Government’s Empowering Our Communities program to support mental health and wellbeing in drought affected communities.

“Through this funding, we’re rolling out a range of mental health support initiatives to help farmers and communities to deal with the uncertainty, stress and anxiety of drought conditions, and this diary is one strategy to help build local community capacity and to reduce stigma around mental health,” Ms Neal said.

“Scattered throughout the diary are tips for managing stress, practicing self-care, how to identify if someone might need support, dos and don’ts of Christmas, when you should seek help for depression, and most importantly where to go to seek help.

“With the help of our supporters, people across the Murrumbidgee will be able to collect their diary from Ag ‘n’ Vet, IK Caldwell, and Hutcheon & Pearce shopfronts, as well as from Rabobank in Wagga Wagga and Griffith, local councils, and at the Henty Machinery Field Days in September. Local NSW Farmers and Ricegrowers’ Association members will receive a diary, and people accessing services from Riverina and Murray Local Land Services, and the Rural Financial Counselling Service through the NSW Southern region are also able to collect a diary. Diaries will also be available from Farm Gate Workers and at events funded by our community grants as well.

“I would like to thank all our supporters for helping us deliver these diaries to those most in need. I would also especially like to acknowledge the support of the Black Dog Institute who kindly provided permission to use some of their website content for this diary,” she said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency call the Murrumbidgee Accessline 1800 011 944, Mental Health Line 1800 011 511, Lifeline 13 11 14, or call 000. Or to access the Head to Health website visit www.headtohealth.org.au

Debbie Angel