Mental Health Week education in Bathurst

HERE TO HELP: Lifeline Central West's Alex Ferguson, GP Dr Roshan Awmee, Partners in Recovery's Shana Turner and headspace's Nicki Halliwell join forces to support the community. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 101116cmental1

HERE TO HELP: Lifeline Central West's Alex Ferguson, GP Dr Roshan Awmee, Partners in Recovery's Shana Turner and headspace's Nicki Halliwell join forces to support the community. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 101116cmental1

THE first step can often be the hardest, but this Mental Health Week Bathurst’s support workers are urging people to take the step.

Bathurst’s mental health workers came together this week to highlight the range of services on offer for anyone experiencing difficulties.

Last year, 3027 people ended their own lives in Australia, recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows, and the figures have left people like Lifeline Central West’s Alex Ferguson urging people to seek help if they are having difficulties.

"In many cases it's very difficult to talk to parents, friends and colleagues about these issues,” he said.

"There is a huge support network and the simple message is – if they don't come forward how the hell can we fix them.”

Mr Ferguson acknowledged that stigma surrounding mental health issues can lead to some people not seeking help.

“In nearly all instances, these issues can be remedied,” he said.

For Bathurst’s younger community members, headspace offers a range of mental health services as well as medical, legal and educational assistance for people aged 12 to 25 years old.

If they don't come forward how the hell can we fix them. - Lifeline Central West executive officer Alex Ferguson

"People need to see that things like depression and anxiety are opportunities for growth ... to explore your potential even further,” program manager Nicki Halliwell said.

"Get some assistance and overcome your fears."

General practitioner Dr Roshan Awmee said new diagnostic criteria guidelines say if you experience a loss of interest in daily activities, insomnia, difficulty concentrating or coping difficulties with stress for two weeks you should seek help.

"If you seek help earlier more can be done," he said.

Dr Awmee said people can also visit websites such as Black Dog or Beyond Blue for more inforamtion and to help them recognise symptoms of mental health issues.

While Partners in Recovery (PIR) program co-ordinates support for a person’s journey to recovery.

“PIR is for people living with a severe and persistent mental health issue with complex needs that require services from multiple agencies,” spokesperson Shana Turner said.

  • For help call Lifeline on 13 11 14, headspace on 6338 1100 or Partners in Recovery on 6333 2805 or your GP.
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