Free mental health training workshops to support drought-affected Western NSW
Published: 22 October, 2019
Black Dog Institute announces it will be delivering free mental health training to GPs and Allied Health Professionals working in drought-affected Western NSW.
Funded by Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN) through the Australian Government's Empowering our Communities initiative, Black Dog will train GPs and health professionals to better diagnose, treat and manage patients in drought-affected areas who present with a mental illness.
With limited access to appropriate mental health care, and already at risk of higher suicide rates, those living in Western NSW are enduring a crisis not seen before in their community.
Experiencing one of Western NSW’s most severe droughts on record, farmers and businesses in the region are facing livestock and crop losses, as well as strict water allocations that will cut production, impacting upon their livelihood and income.
It is hoped through training GPs and health professionals to better treat and diagnose mental illness for those living in drought-ravaged areas of Western NSW, it will provide the resources this community needs to address the risks placing them in greater danger of suicide and self-harm at this time.
“We’re very glad to be able to provide training in these areas to increase the mental health support offered to those living in Western parts of NSW,” said Dr Jan Orman, Black Dog Institute’s General Practitioner Services Consultant.
“We encourage any GPs and health professionals in these regions to sign-up for the training so we can ensure the community has access to a safety net of suitable mental health resources.
“Through providing these resources, we hope to help protect the community against the risk-factors that may lead to the development of severe mental illness and the danger of self-harm.”
WSNSW PHN CEO, Andrew Harvey, said of the need for this training, "communities in our region are under immense pressure because of the prolonged drought, and are experiencing a great deal of stress and anxiety."
“This training will help healthcare professionals provide the support and treatment to people who are in need during this difficult time," said Harvey.
The free training program will help health professionals identify sub-types of depression; recognise the various influences that contribute to depression; increase competency in assessing and managing risk in depressed patients; and help in the selection of suitable treatments for those experiencing depression.
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Media enquiries: Natalie Craig, 0448 144 999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or someone you know is in crisis please call one of the following national helplines:
LIFELINE COUNSELLING SERVICE - 13 11 14
SUICIDE CALL BACK SERVICE 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)