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TAS Country : February 10th 2011
6 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 11, 2011 2002623-110205 BUYING GOLD & SILVER CASH PAID 9ct gold $14.00 per g 15ct gold $20.00 per g 18ct gold $28.00 per g Gold Sovereigns $280.00 Australian florins $1.60 Shillings .80c Sixpence .40c Round 1966 50 cent $5.50 IN ANY CONDITION HOUSE CALLS MADE 136 ELIZABETH ST, HOBART 0417 264 548 RAW help is at hand in battle against suicide CHEWS theFAT David Byard RECENTLY I read Bob Katter talking about the high rates of suicide in rural and remote Australia. It appears that the independent federal MP for Kennedy worked on a national suicide prevention strategy at one stage in his career. According to ABARE, 65,000 Australians will attempt to take their own lives. Of this number 2200 will actually succeed. More people will die by suicide than those who are lost in road accidents. In fact, 23-25 per cent of deaths on the road are suicide. Enter RAW, the Rural Alive and Well project. Who are they? Rural Alive and Well is a not-for- profit initiative supported by the Southern Midlands Council to raise awareness and support the wellbeing of rural communities. The management committee is made up of members of community organisations and representative organisations such as the Central Highlands Council, the Midlands Council and Department of Primary Industry, as well as other interested community members. The aim of RAW is to prevent suicide in rural communities. It was set up in response to extreme drought conditions prevailing in the South, Midlands and Central Highlands of Tasmania, which caused enormous stress to a lot of farming families. It seeks to help address the emotional and physical trauma experienced by men, especially farmers, their families and the general community. The objectives are to help build resilience and the capacity of men and their families, along with the community, to react to challenging life experiences, including mental health issues, with a specific focus on suicide. The idea is to provide support and assistance to help them respond to crisis and to recover after adversity. Part of this is to establish structures and networks to help men and their families, and to deal with suicide-related issues. They also provide counselling for men and their families at risk of mental health problems and suicide. It is interesting to note that there have been no suicides in the past two years where the program is operating. Whether this is simply good luck, good management or a mixture of both is anybody's guess. Developing and implementing strategies in the community to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues and suicidal behaviour is crucial. Personally, I feel very sorry for people with a mental illness. These people can be shunned -- unlike when somebody breaks a leg, there is very little sympathy. Some readers may ask: ''Why do we need a service like this?'' According to ABARE statistics, Tasmania has a suicide rate that is 39 per cent higher than the mainland average. It seems that 80 per cent of the people who suicide are men. Project initiatives include farm visits, house calls, suicide awareness training programs and service referrals. The scope of Rural Alive and Well will also cover men's physical health issues. The program has three outreach workers and recently one other has been added statewide to handle forestry issues. This person is expected to look after the whole state. When people are under stress problems are more likely to surface, and forestry people are certainly having a difficult time. These outreach workers are there to help and refer people on if the problem becomes bigger. One of the programs has been conducted at Oatlands and Bothwell high schools, where young males are invited to participate in activities such as fishing and motorcycle mechanics where they work closely with mentors. Bothwell High School participated in a pilot program where the aim was to build awareness of our unique outdoor environment and encourage young people to be physically active and build relationships with their peers, teachers and adults outside the school environment. It was hoped to provide students with a male role model to relate to in a mentoring capacity. The idea was to provide male students with the opportunity to participate in an activity that they may not have the opportunity to have done previously. RAW is dedicated to being available to respond to people in need 24 hours a day. They can provide a face-to-face service and, if necessary, arrange referrals to other appropriate services for their expertise. All these services are free of charge and the focus is on helping people in times of crisis. The outreach workers have a case file, which includes people who have mild to critical problems. To me suicide is something we hear every day but very few of us have been touched by the reality and the problems it can cause after the event. This program is available before people actually hit the wall. Dam checks after floods THE Department of Pri- mary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment will advise farmers on how they can deal with flood-damaged dams. DPIPWE water and marine resources general manager Wes Ford said the department's water management officers and water rangers would con- duct on-site inspections of most dams in affected catchments. Catchments include the Black/Detention, Ing- lis, Cam, Emu, Blythe, Leven, Forth/Wilmot, Mersey, Rubicon, Me- ander and Boobyalla/ Tomahawk rivers. ''The initial priority will be dams which have breached or have suf- fered damage and larger, higher-hazard dams,'' Mr Ford said. ''Landowners will be given advice on what work needs to be under- taken and what permits, if any, are needed. ''In many cases it is expected that minor works only will be re- quired and that this can be done without the need for a permit application.'' Significant restorative, or rebuilding work to repair extensively dam- aged dams, might call for a more detailed approval process to ensure safety. ''Given the extent of the affected area the on- site inspection process may take several months to complete,'' he said. Landowners who have immediate concerns about the safety of their dam should directly con- tact the local regional water management offi- cer or a qualified dam engineer, rather than wait for the inspection. ''The responsibility for dam safety lies with the landowner and the ad- vice provided as part of this process should not be interpreted as assur- ing safety,'' he said. Contact a dam engin- eer if there are safety concerns. Opinion Do you need help to live independently at home? * Calls from mobile phones are charged at applicable rates Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres are here to help. A Centre can: • Provide you with information on local aged & community care services available to suit your needs • Arrange help for carers to take a break from their caring role (respite) To contact your local Centre call Freecall 1800 052 222* To find your nearest shopfront visit www.commcarelink.health.gov.au For emergency respite outside business hours call Freecall 1800 059 059* Carer Advisory and Counselling Service For family carer support and counselling you can contact your state or territory Carers Association on 1800 242 636* adcorp11868
February 3rd 2011
February 17th 2011