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Charleville kicks off drought mental health workshops

Thursday November 28, 2013 - 14:30 EDT

The first of 40 drought mental health workshops will begin today in Charleville.

The Queensland Government announced the workshops in May as part of its drought support measures.

Service provider UnitingCare Community has been contracted to conduct the sessions.

Spokesman Paul Rasmussen says they aim to help identify and assist people at risk of suicide or depression.

"They will look at how people respond during and after a traumatic event, they will identify ways to assist people who have been affected by events like drought," he said.

"They will also look at how to identify and assist people who might be at risk of suicide or depression and other mental health issues and also importantly they will look at ways that people can look after themselves when they are assisting other people."

He says anyone within a drought affected community will benefit.

"We run a lot of these styles of programs across the state and we find that they really do help communities to be able to help themselves and have the capacity to be able to assist other people in the community," he said.

"Also, as I said, we are going to run a number of them in most of the areas so that will hopefully give everyone who wants to come along the opportunity to come along."

State Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says it has taken too long for the workshops to be rolled out in drought affected areas.

Mr Springborg says it should have been done quicker.

"There was a crossover with regards to the financial year, the new financial year in the middle and also a lack of focus from some that should have been rolling it out but it's taken too long, I admit that," he said.

"I've given it a real hurry up and hopefully it will be able to be rolled out much quicker now."

Four workshops will be held in the Gulf in December, while the Channel Country and north-west regions will hold sessions in January.


© ABC 2013

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