General News Rural — 03 July 2014

Mental health care providers are reassessing the way they deliver support to drought affected communities.

Not-for-profit organisation, Uniting Care, received funding from the Queensland government to hold 60 workshops across the state, but many have been postponed due to lack of interest.

Uniting Care mental health worker Jason Reid says they’ve realised the workshops aren’t practical for farmers.Drought ground

“If I was a landholder, farmer, pastoralist or a cattleman, probably the last thing I would think to do with one of my days or half days would be to travel into town to attend a workshop, whatever, that workshop might be,” Mr Reid said.

“So it’s fair to say that numbers have been fairly low.”

The Queensland Health Minister, Lawrence Springborg, says one-on-one mental health support would be ideal.

“We’re looking at opportunities where we might be able to support people in the privacy of their own home and encourage them to get help,” Mr Sprinborg said.

He says his department is constantly working to develop better ways of delivering mental health support to the bush.

“What happens is people recommend we do workshops, and we know full well that in some cases they’re going to work and in other cases they’re not going to work so well.

“It’s almost impossible to have a model which is going to meet everyone’s expectations.”

This article first appeared on ABC on 2 July, 2014.


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