MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday 13th February 2014

Additional mental health support available for drought-affected commuitites

Residents throughout North West NSW facing on-going dry conditions are being reminded mental health support services are available if needed, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Western NSW Kevin Humphries said today.

Mr Humphries said that while most landholders had prepared well for dry conditions, the current situation has continued for longer and been dryer than anticipated.

“Regional communities are renowned for the strength and resilience they show in the face of adversity, and the way our western communities have rallied together in the face of these on-going dry conditions is no exception,” Mr Humphries said.

“However, there is no doubt that these conditions have the potential to impact on people and it’s important to let people know that there’s a friendly face to talk to if you need it.”

Mr Humphries said that he has asked Rural Adversity Mental Health Program workers to travel up to Brewarrina, Bourke and Walgett this week to offer physical health and wellbeing checks, and to ensure they’re on hand to help in any way they can.

“RAMHP workers connect individuals and communities with mental health support and play an extremely important role in supporting people across regional NSW during times of adversity. As the drought conditions spread the RAMHP program will expand to cover these areas,” Mr Humphries said.

“I am in very close contact with our RAMHP workers and will be meeting with them again in Orange on Friday to discuss ways in which they can continue to provide additional assistance to communities throughout the North West during this time.

“I have spent this week travelling across Western NSW and understand very well that many people are facing a tough time, however it is vital people remember you are not alone and that there is help available should you need it.”

Some of the additional services available across the state for those who may find themselves needing mental health information or support, include:

  • State Mental Health Telephone Access Line – 1800 011 511, Confidential mental health service operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with established links to all mental health services across the Western NSW LHD.
  • NSW Rural Mental Health Support Line – 1800 201 123 for 24 Hour, 7 Day Support and Information for people in rural communities.

MEDIA: Jeremy Scott – 0467 741 200