RESIGN now or I'll expose you.
That's the warning Bathurst Regional councillor Jacqui Rudge has been given in an anonymous threat.
A letter was mailed to her home last Friday and it gave her seven days to quit her role as a councillor or the writer would expose her "mental health issues" from four years ago.
But far from being intimidated by the cowardly threats, Cr Rudge approached the Western Advocate to help call out what she says is bullying behaviour.
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In September 2017, Cr Rudge put her hand up to fight for the Bathurst community and was elected as a councillor.
Eighteen months earlier, though, she was battling some of her own issues.
Her elderly mother Corrie was desperately ill and her beloved husband Brian had suffered a stroke.
Cr Rudge was their primary carer, times were tough and she's the first to admit she wasn't coping.
"I sought help, I knew it was the right thing to do because I needed be around for my husband and my mother," she said.
Cr Rudge said the help she received during her time at the Panorama Clinic in early 2016 not only helped her cope then, but gave her the skills to cope with any stresses in life in the future.
"I'm not embarrassed by this, if anything it's made me stronger than ever," she said.
"I really didn't think it was a big deal, when I had breast cancer I went to seek treatment. To me it's [mental health] like my other medical issue - if you need help go and get it.
I'm not embarrassed by this, if anything it's made me stronger than ever.Bathurst Regional councillor Jacqui Rudge
"It [the treatment] gave me the skills and different mechanisms to be able to cope."
However, it's this time in her life that the the anonymous letter writer has focused on.
"Your last visit to [the] mental health hospital has not achieved a solution," the letter threatened.
"Written in confidence, however, if not acted on in the next seven days this will be made public as it is a disservice to the community in your current condition."
While Cr Rudge does not know who wrote the letter, she said it was definitely "someone who doesn't want me to run [for council election] in September".
"If I'm not there there's another seat," she said.
Cr Rudge has reported the letter to council's general manager David Sherley and also Bathurst police.
She said she had been left shocked and appalled by the threat and fears that it could deter other people from seeking help for mental health issues.
Written in confidence, however, if not acted on in the next seven days this will be made public as it is a disservice to the community in your current condition.Words from the threatening letter
"If my breast cancer came back would someone do this to me?" she said.
"I'm not going to resign. I see it as an opportunity to promote mental health issues. I'm not going to feel intimidated.
"Mental illness is like any other illness, if you need medication then go out and get it."
Cr Rudge said many people in the community had suffered with mental health issues, whether it be anxiety, depression, stress or losing their job.
- For help in a crisis call Lifeline on 13 11 14.