Country and Outback Health celebrated Mental Health Week by showing their support for local doctors and mental health service providers.
A breakfast was held on Wednesday to recognise the valuable support that the local mental health professionals provide to Port Pirie.
Grant McLeish, NDIS Project Coordinator for Country and Outback Health says it is not an easy job and the hard work should be recognised.
“We want to recognise the hard work and dedication that the staff in mental health services provide, with bringing all those people together and creating the opportunity for them to network.”
To celebrate Mental Health Day, Country and Outback Health partnered with Uniting Care Wesley and the Australian Red Cross to provide the community with an event that could highlight the services in Port Pirie.
“We had roughly about 200 people attend and this event helped to reduce stigma in the community as well as promote the services in the community for people to access”, Mr McLeish said.
Focusing on the motto ‘build, create and connect’, the event featured guest speaker Anthony North, a mental health advocate who has walked his own path of mental health.
Anthony spoke about how mental illness can affect everybody and sufferers can appear just fine, when in reality they are in the deepest pit of depression.
“ I am an average person and if you met me down the street at any given time you would’ve thought that I am doing just fine.”
With a focus on reducing the stigma throughout the community, Anthony spoke about how men are especially a minority when mental health issues arise.
“When [men] come to us, generally it is when [they] are well and truly broken. We would like to try and shortcut that and get people before they hit the bottom.”
Port Pirie has a range of services for mental health counselling, pyscho-social support and drug and alcohol support and providers are now looking at a local suicide prevention course.
“Currently there are three other suicide prevention networks set up around the peninsula and Port Pirie doesn’t have one”, Mr McLeish said.
“The office of the chief psychiatrist has been visiting Port Pirie to help develop the suicide network and in the following months we hope to have that launched.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty, contact your local GP or Lifeline on 13 11 14.