News

Wide Bay mental health cases highest in Australia

The Wide Bay has the highest rate of mood disorders in Australia, and the third highest in depression rates.
The Wide Bay has the highest rate of mood disorders in Australia, and the third highest in depression rates. John Gass

WIDE BAY mood disorder rates are sitting at the highest in Australia, alongside the region's depression rates soaring in at third on the nation's ladder.

According to the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service (WBHHS), during 2014-2015 mental health patient contacts to Wide Bay hospitals was 54,298, and during 2015-2016 it rose to 65,454.

In 2015, the Wide Bay had an interim rate of 20 suicides per 100,000 people, compared to the Queensland rate of 16 per 100,000 people.

Senior Wide Bay psychologist Dan Banos said 75% of people who had taken their lives in 2015 didn't visit health services in the last 12 months.

"We still haven't done enough community work, people in communities are still not being captured by our services," he said.

"The stigma surrounding mental health needs to be dropped - having said that, people are coming in in larger numbers so there is more awareness as a result and more exceptions that it is more acceptable."

He believes more community-based preventative measures are needed to reduce suicide rates.

"We need, not only health services to be involved, but we need community measures, gatekeepers, schools, guidance officers, and community members to all come together," Mr Banos said.

WBHHS is looking to implement recommendations similar to a report by the Black Dog Institute, titled "An Evidence-based Systems Approach to Suicide Prevention", which discussed strategies to help prevent suicide.

"It is a fairly new discovery, there are only a few trails in the country, so the evidence is there but we have to make sure it is effective," he said.

"It is something we are aware can help and we are collaborating with the Primary Health Network."

Nine preventive strategies are outlined in the report including after-care and crisis care, school programs, community campaigns and frontline staff training recommendations.

"We are working towards that now, we are exploring those recommendations," Mr Banos said.

"There needs to be information for people to reach out and to be aware that we are available and we have the capacity and expertise to help them.

"Their primary point of contact is a GP, that should be a place to go, or they can come directly to us."

According to the report, more than 71,000 people in Australia will attempt suicide in any given year.

For support contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.

Mood disorders are defined as elevated or serious change in moods such as depression, dysthymia, or bipolar disorder. Mood disorders are treatable and there is help available.

Local services:

Yourcare - 28 Torquay Rd (07) 4128 5400

Headspace - (07) 4303 2100

Hervey Bay Hospital - (07) 4325 6666

Community Health Centre - (07) 4122 8733

Suncare Community Services - 1800 786 227

Maryborough Base Hospital - (07) 4122 8222

Centacare Fraser Coast Community Service -1300 236 822

Topics:  depression and anxiety fchealth fraser coast mental health



OPINION: Come to Maryborough and help break the record

Jordan Philp - deputy editor Fraser Coast Chronicle. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

I am looking forward to doing my part to help break a world record.

New sports lift-out to debut in Monday's Chronicle

Sports Monday masthead.

Fraser Coast Chronicle will debut a new sports lift-out on Monday.

PUBFEST: What you need to know for world record attempt

Pubfest 2017 - Maryborough Town Crier Ken Ashford with (L) Amy Wilson, Harvey the Whale, Emily Milne, Tim Holstein and Trish Milne getting ready for the record attempt.

Thousands will hop from pub to pub in the heart of Maryborough.

Local Partners

Sam Thaiday stars in Broncos’ carpool karaoke

SAM Thaiday has stunned with his karaoke rendition of Celine Dion.

What's on the small screen this week

My Kitchen Rule's mother and daughter contestants Valerie and Courtney.

MY KITCHEN Rules grand finalists face off and Love Child returns.

Anthony LaPaglia steps out with new fiancee

Anthony LaPaglia.

Actor Anthony LaPaglia engaged to much younger girlfiend

Ronan Keating a dad for fourth time

Ronan Keating and Storm Keating.

Bouncing baby boy for Boyzone star

Lion King remake well under way

Seth Rogen.

More Lion King remake cast members revealed

Splendour auctions VIP passes for flood appeal

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Each pass will have a reserve price of $500

Falling rents could spell doom for housing prices

What if I told you housing in Australia was getting cheaper?

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

'Raping and pillaging': Landlord's anger with nightmare cost

Chris Duane, who is chairman of the body corporate for Terralina Court, says insurance companies are charging too much for premiums.

BODY corporate boss unleashes on huge costs dumped on home owners.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!