Time for pollies to address the issue of mental health

THE stats are stacked against us when it comes to mental health on the Fraser Coast.

How many of you reading this have gone through mental health issues or been affected by suicide in one way or another?

I would hazard a guess, the majority of you reading this.

How often do you hear your state representatives, Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen or Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, talking about seriously addressing the issue of mental health on the Fraser Coast?

What about your federal representatives, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt or Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien?

It is time our politicians recognise our community is suffering in silence and it needs real support to change things.

The most recent data shows there were 106 suicide and self-harm related deaths in the Fraser Coast region during 2009 to 2012.

Let that number sink in for a second.

Our local services need more mental health funding.

Groups like Fraser Coast Mates are stepping up to the mark by providing awareness to the public and raising funds for locals.

But they can't do it alone.

I will be attending the group's inaugural event at the Hervey Bay Golf Club next Friday at 11am to do my bit to raise money and break down the stigma of discussing mental illness.

See page 2 of today's paper for more details on that event. If you have been affected by suicide or mental health in some way, please urge your politicians to fund these programs and groups and encourage them to make mental health a priority on their list of issues to tackle.

If you or someone you know needs support call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.



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