Q&A in Rockhampton: have your say on mental health issues

ABC TV's popular current affairs talk show Q&A will be beamed live from Rockhampton next month.

It will be broadcast from the Pilbeam Theatre on Monday, October 6, as part of the ABC's Mental As... campaign, which is designed to kick-start a national conversation about mental health. Hosted by journalist Tony Jones, Q&A is the show where you ask the questions and locals are being encouraged to join the debate as part of the live studio audience.

This episode of Q&A will give Central Queenslanders the chance to put their issues on the national agenda.

"People living in places like Rockhampton don't have the same access to resources that Australians living in capital cities enjoy, yet they're facing all the same pressures, compounded by isolation and financial uncertainty," executive producer Peter McEvoy said yesterday.

"Q&A wants to bring their stories on to the national agenda and turn the spotlight on to mental health issues in rural and regional Australia as part of the ABC's Mental As... initiative."

Two of the five panellists for the Rockhampton episode have been confirmed.

They are psychiatrist, mental health reform advocate and 2010 Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry and comedian Josh Thomas, who wrote and starred in Please Like Me, an ABC2 series that touches on issues including depression and suicide.

People who want to be in the audience can register on the Q&A website, http://www.abc.net.au/qanda, and click on Join the studio audience, or follow the link: http://bit.ly/come2QandA.

Q&A goes to air every Monday at 9.35pm.

MENTAL HEALTH FOCUS

Mental As… is the biggest cross-platform programming event conducted by the ABC for Mental Health Week, which runs from October 5 to 12.

It will look at mental health from all angles and perspectives, from comedy to documentary, entertainment to debate, to help join the dots on mental health in Australia.

The week will culminate in a two-hour, live, TV fundraising event Friday Night Crack Up on World Mental Health Day on Friday, October 10.

POPULAR PANELLISTS

The panellists who have appeared most often on Q&A:

Tanya Plibersek, Labor

Christopher Pyne, Liberal

Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal

Bill Shorten, Labor

Barnaby Joyce, National

George Brandis, Liberal

Joe Hockey, Liberal

Penny Wong, Labor

Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian newspaper columnist

Craig Emerson, Labor



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