Governor General David Hurley, the Queen’s representative in Australia, today calls on people across Australia to provide support in difficult times.
- Governor General calls on people in rural and regional Australia to ask RU OK?
- Multiple disasters and now the pandemic have a significant impact on rural populations
- Rural doctors warn of ‘phantom pandemic’ of suicide
It’s a difficult question to ask at the best of times, but this has been a very difficult year for some who have had to deal with drought, fires, floods and the pandemic.
General Hurley says he wants to make sure people get help and help those who are going through difficult times.
“I point out to people how good they are, their strengths, and I tell them ‘hey, we’re strong enough to go through this’.”
General Hurley spoke to residents of NSW containment zones, including local government leaders from Wollondilly, Coonamble and Gilgandra.
This includes, he said, people still recovering from drought and fires, those preparing to face another mouse plague and emergency services still involved in recovery and reconstruction. flooding in the Hawkesbury and North Coast areas.
The Governor General has no role to play in policy making, but he does have a position of influence.
“I’m looking for themes, not necessarily individual situations, but sometimes when you see someone in a bureaucratic loop you can break them. Although you can’t do it for everyone,” he said. declared.
He thinks RU OK? The day is important for getting people talking about mental health.
“The well-being and well-being of Australians should be important to all of us,” General Hurley said.
Pandemic aggravating alcohol abuse
Brendan Cullen has been an advocate for those struggling with mental health issues in the bush and has spoken at several Lifeline events across the country.
He said residents in the far west of the state still face drought-related issues and the lockdown is making the situation worse by increasing people’s sense of isolation.
It is a problem that he had to resolve on his own.
“I am a walking example, but I put myself in a good headspace, I have the tools to manage the situation, and if something comes back, I don’t like it, I act on it”, a- he declared.
Even a sign on a door can help
The Bell family from Warren in West New South Wales decorated their front door with UK OK? Daytime signaling.
Belinda Bell said she was motivated by the event because of her own issues.
“I have suffered from mental health issues since I was 16 and also attempted suicide,” she said.
She is concerned about the high number of people who have died by suicide.
She encourages people to seek help.
“It is even more important in rural areas because we are a resilient group and do not want to place any burden on anyone or others to know that we are not well,” she said.
Rural doctors warn of phantom pandemic
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned that a “phantom pandemic” is hitting hard.
A recent State of the Nation report from Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) showed that a quarter of Australians know someone who has committed suicide in the past 12 months.
Lifeline support staff are facing a record number of calls for help.
RDAA President John Hall has said that having someone who really cares, asks if you’re okay, can make a monumental difference. And right now is a good time to reach out to others.
“The recent SPA report shows that social isolation, economic challenges and job losses in the wake of the pandemic have played a significant role in the deterioration of the mental health of Australians over the past year. “
Dr Hall said rural GPs are a good place to get advice as they have training and experience in dealing with mental health issues.
They can also provide a safe and confidential environment to talk about how you are feeling and the issues in your life that are affecting you.
He encouraged people to think about how they approach others if they want to strike up a conversation.
“We know it can be hard to know what to say when you think something is wrong. So there are some great resources available at ruok.org.au to help you start and keep the conversation going, ”said Dr Hall.
“If they’ve been feeling really depressed for more than two weeks, encourage them to speak to their rural doctor who will have the skills and experience to support them.”