Mental health campaign to target north west

RFDS launches new mental health campaign for residents impacted by north west flood

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Flood impacted residents in Queensland's north west will be better supported after the Royal Flying Doctor Service launched a new campaign targeting mental health and well being.

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RFDS outback mental health clinical lead Dr Tim Driscoll is encouraging community members to connect and seek health to improve their mental health and well-being.

RFDS outback mental health clinical lead Dr Tim Driscoll is encouraging community members to connect and seek health to improve their mental health and well-being.

FLOOD impacted residents in Queensland's north west will be better supported after the Royal Flying Doctor Service launched a new campaign targeting mental health and well-being.

The 'small talk, big difference' campaign aims to better connect residents within their own communities, and also with health professionals.

The program, which is jointly funded by the federal and state government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, is being rolled out across monsoon impacted shires in the states west.

RFDS outback mental health clinical lead Dr Tim Driscoll said a variety of activities and resources would be delivered through the campaign to help people develop and maintain connections.

Webinars, virtual morning tea events, podcasts and downloadable resources will all be made available over the next 12 months, Dr Driscoll said.

Advice on using technology to stay connected will be a focus as a method to overcome the distance and isolation experienced by many living in rural and remote areas.

We also want to help people become more comfortable and confident in having challenging conversations, particularly about mental health.

"Help is readily available, but sometimes people need encouragement from those close to them, to get the help they need."

Dr Driscoll said while most people got through tough times with the support of family and friends, it was vital that residents knew professional support was available

He said the campaign would encourage people to talk over their concerns with their local GP or health centre, who could offer direct support and link people with other professionals.

Dr Driscoll said while the campaign was targeted to people living in flood impacted shires, the message was relevant for anyone interested in improving their well-being.

"This could be someone who has been impacted directly by mental health concerns, or those who know of someone experiencing challenges, which is most of us.

Queensland Healths Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch executive director Dr John Allan said it was important for people to stay connected and to look out for each other.

Dont be afraid of encouraging your family or friends to seek help if they are feeling stressed, anxious or down," Dr Allan said.

For more information, visit www.smalltalkbigdifference.com.au.

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