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WFI: Mental health in regional areas

Mental health has risen to prominence in recent years, as communities and governments alike have come to understand that each year one in five Australians will experience a mental illness.


For those in regional areas, dealing with mental health issues can often be complicated by the distance from help and professional services. In particular, suicide rates in regional Australia have risen over the past 30 years. Here are some tips from WFI for keeping mentally healthy.


Don’t let yourself become isolated. Get out and join local social, sporting and community groups. Visit your neighbours. Make an effort to stay connected with the people in your life and encourage others to do the same. Just being around other people, talking to people, is great for your mental health and wellbeing.


Having a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake, taking exercise and not indulging in smoking or drug taking all go a long way towards supporting your physical wellbeing. An active and healthy lifestyle is also a proven benefit to an individual’s mental health.


Sometimes things happen you can do nothing about. Relationships dissolve. We become ill, old or frail. We all know these sorts of events are a part of life, but that doesn’t make them easy to deal with. It is important for your mental health to learn to accept the things you cannot change and focus instead on parts of your life you have more control over.


If times are starting to get tough, it’s important to work out how to tackle the problems you’re facing before they become overwhelming. Take a step back and work out a plan. You might be able to do that all on your own, or perhaps you’ll need help — like engaging a financial advisor. Don’t be afraid to get an expert in to help you. The important thing is to set realistic goals and develop plans for achieving them. Don’t just set big goals, set smaller goals that help you achieve the larger target, too.


If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety or any other kind of mental health issue or are struggling to cope, the first thing to know is: you are not alone. If you’re not coping or need help, reach out. Talk to your family or friends. Alternatively, get in touch with professional services, like your doctor, Lifeline, or Beyond Blue. Sometimes it helps just to talk.


13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or chat online at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
SANE Australia Helpline 1800 187 263
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service 1800 011 046


This information has been provided as a guide only. WFI (ABN 24 000 036 279 AFSL 241461) makes no warranties about the accuracy or completeness of this information. WFI, including its directors, affiliates, officers, employees, agents and contractors, do not accept any liability for any loss, damage or other injury resulting from its use. This information doesn’t take into account your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should consider these matters and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before you act on any advice. You can get a copy of our PDSs from our website at www.wfi.com.au or by calling 1300 934 934. If you purchase any WFI product we will charge you a premium, plus any taxes and charges, based on your risk profile and circumstances.

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    Having been a lone farmer for many years with pressures from seasonal, financial, local and bureaucratic institutional factors then sanity is something hard to maintain. The article is correct in stating that being involved in a community group is also important but this can also impose outside pressures so everyone needs to realise their limitations, read your body signs and accept help when needed. Some organisation are more supportive than others so select one which does charitable works in the community. We in Victoria had a great system to provide help to people experiencing a mental episode by providing them with dedicated hospitals where not only they were in a safe environment but were in a place where disruption of patients with other ailments did not happen. Other more serious cases of mental illness were also housed (or restrained) under the same system which provided a much safer community but probably infringed on patients rights. Sadly, as a trial, the Brumby government closed these down. To date there has been no results published about that “trial” and no investigation about whether mental patients are better off (especially the ones “released” on a drugged restraint). Prime Minister Sir John Gorton was responsible for the development of Eaglehawk centre which seemed to be working well but was bulldozed as soon as the “trial” started. What is needed are dedicated facilities staffed by people who have the expertise to handle anyone having an episode of mental illness with those facilities away from patients suffering from physical illnesses. That is what Sir John Gorton had in place.


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