THE Where There’s A Will Foundation is urging people to participate in a federal government survey to improve mental health and reduce suicide.
The results of the survey will also guide funding decisions for mental health in the Upper Hunter for the next 5 to 10 years.
“People are coming to the Where there’s a Will Foundation every other day with stories about how the lack of services, knowledge and resources is impacting the mental health of our community,” said founder Pauline Carrigan.
“We need people to participate in this survey and tell them about the lack of pyschologists and psychiatrists in the district, the cost of travelling to access these services, about people in acute crisis situations being turned away from hospital and surgeries because doctors aren’t available, about the lack of internet so youth aren’t able to access valuable online resources like headspace, about the lack of counsellors in our schools, about the nurses who want to do mental health first aid because it’s not even a part of their training and about the lack of knowledge of what mental illness actually is,” said founder Pauline Carrigan.
“I’ll certainly be telling our family’s story – about how through government campaigns, school campaigns and great community awareness we knew to educate our kids about things like being sun safe, road safe, alcohol, drugs and sex,” she said.
“And how I keep wondering if my son would still be here if there’d been similar meaningful education campaigns for adults and children about signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety and how to help them,” she said.
“If you have had any experience with mental illness, if you’re a carer or friend of someone with mental illness please take the time to fill out this survey,” she said.
“Similarly, if you’re just someone who thinks that it’s not ok that one person is dying every four hours through suicide or that a mentally fit community is a flourishing community, please also take the time to fill out this survey,” Pauling Carrigan said.
The survey closes on Sunday, June 4: Mental Health Survey.