Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry with Dr Peter Rofe, head of the medical advisory committee and Hillcrest Rockhampton private hospital CEO Tracey Wust at the new rural mental health wing of the hospital. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry with Dr Peter Rofe, head of the medical advisory committee and Hillcrest Rockhampton private hospital CEO Tracey Wust at the new rural mental health wing of the hospital. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill

Help is on the way with mental issues as facility opens

MENTAL health - it's that giant elephant in the room.

But not for long, with Rockhampton taking a step forward to tackle the issue.

A $5 million rural mental health wing at Rockhampton's Hillcrest Hospital will open on Monday providing much-needed help for those suffering from mental illness.

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said that areas out west had been suffering with tough times in the cattle and mining industries.

She said some of those affected needed somewhere to seek support.

"We really do push for country people to seek some professional help.

"Our farmers have had the drought for years, I encourage people to talk to their doctor and talk about these issues," Ms Landry said.

The state-of-the-art facility will have the hospital's mental health unit expand from 12 beds to 24, with $2.1million of funding for the unit from the Federal Government.

With National Mental Health Week under way, Ms Landry is trying to get the message out there for more people to seek help, rather than stay silent.

"We all have hard times when we feel very low and it's important that people not feel shamed or embarrassment about getting to their doctor," Ms Landry said.

MENTAL HEALTH FACTS

One in five Australians will suffer from mental illness this year

Around one million Australian adults live with depression each year

Around 178,000 young people live with depression each year

One in four Aussies will suffer from anxiety in their lives

Men are more than twice as likely as woman to have substance abuse disorders



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