As Chair of the Board for the past six years, I have had the privilege of working with and watching the organisation grow in capacity and stature.
Over these last years the Centre has continued to develop and
roll out primary and secondary proactive and preventative interventions and programs for those who live and work in the agricultural sector, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and those who live and work in the mining and resource sector.
I am proud to say that the Centre’s innovative primary interventions have de-stigmatised mental health and made it a safe topic in many workplaces and communities.
Jim Petrich AM
Evaluation report for the Roadshows in southern Queensland during February 2012.
Creative Recovery/Livelihoods Evaluaton Report
Evalution Report on the Deadly Thinking Pilot
This is the story of how four Indigenous communities used creativity and arts-based activities to work towards improved mental health and emotional wellbeing. It's the story of how arts-based activities took hold in one community and succeeded – and how the idea spread, albeit slowly, from one community to another.
It's the story of the Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health Queensland (CRRMHQ) working in partnership with Indigenous communities, the Queensland Government and other dedicated, talented artists.
It's a story of positive outcomes and emerging economic opportunities.
It's a story of hope.
In July 2010 the Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health in Queensland convened a Roundtable of interested stakeholders to discuss issues and identify strategies to promote mental health and wellbeing in the mining and resources sector.
The Brisbane Roundtable agreed that mental health issues impact directly and indirectly on the bottom line of mining and resource businesses and that there is an urgent need to explore the imperatives and benefits of incorporating mental health strategies in OH&S policies and practices.
The Building Bridges Project is a community-based suicide prevention initiative that aims to use the knowledge and experience of communities to establish effective and sustainable community-based approaches to building resilience, reducing suicide risk exposure and reducing self-harm.
The first stage of this project was led by the Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health Queensland (CRRMHQ). Launched in the Dalby, Yarrabah, Hope Vale and Kowanyama communities, it focussed on supporting local suicide prevention and intervention activities with Indigenous individuals and organisations. This component ran in partnership with various community groups and supported such initiatives as the Family Wellbeing Program and a knowledge sharing event for Indigenous men.
The Indigenous Hip Hop Project (IHHP) and the Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health Queensland just finished a week long Social and Emotional Wellbeing Hip Hop Engagement Project. The overall objective of the project was to promote suicide prevention and wellbeing in the rural communities of Dalby and St George in Queensland. The project was called Building Bridges 2 and aimed to build the capacity of organisations and individuals in these communities by running suicide prevention programs and addressing issues to improve general mental health and wellbeing.
Building bridges to implement successful life promotion and suicide prevention expertise across Aboriginal communities.
Indigenous suicide is a public health issue of grave importance not only in Australia but in other post-colonial countries. The incidence of Indigenous suicide in Australia significantly exceeds that of the general population (De Leo et al., 2009). In Queensland, De Leo et al. (2009) report an Indigenous suicide rate approximately double that of the non-Indigenous population, with Indigenous youth most at risk. An escalation in Indigenous suicide was perceived to have occurred in the 1980s (Hunter and Milroy, 2006).
The Building Bridges: Learning from the Experts report describes the implementation and findings of a community based suicide prevention initiative. The project aimed to use the experience and knowledge of the Yarrabah community as a model for other Indigenous communities for the establishment of effective and sustainable community-based approaches to building resilience, reducing suicide risk exposure and reducing self-harm. Several empowerment strategies had been developed in Yarrabah following a cluster of suicides in the 1990s (the Yaba Bimbie Men’s Group, the Family Well Being Empowerment program and the Life Promotion Officer). Under the Building Bridges Project these strategies were employed within the communities of Hope Vale, Kowanyama and Dalby. Sharing of knowledge through formal events and informal communication provided a means by which the knowledge, skills and experience of each community was strengthened.
This mapping study provides current information on existing services and supports and the gaps in mental health services that are specific to climate change, especially drought. It also indicates the future levels of service that will be available to rural and remote Queenslanders after the 30th June 2009, when the current funding ceases. This information will be of relevance to federal, state and local governments, health and community service providers and those involved in primary industries. This study will also contribute to the development of new, innovative and sustainable interventions, raising community awareness, promoting practical resources and relevant information to those living and working in rural and remote Queensland. When read in conjunction with "It's All About People: Changing Perspectives on Dryness" (2008), it will highlight priority areas for future service planning, the development of effective activities, services and supports. This report will also provoke discussion regarding the future of rural and remote mental health policies and services which are responsive to climate change and sustainable, not crisis-driven.
In September 2008 the Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health Queensland (CRRMHQ) was funded by the Department of Communities to deliver a Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities Suicide Prevention project, Pathways to Resilience (P2R). The development of the project was guided by the principles and objectives of the Queensland Government Suicide Prevention Strategy 2003-2008.
The Pathways to Resilience project focused on a range of community based activities centring on awareness raising, community partnerships and community capacity building. The project model was based on a strong recognition and acknowledgment that local communities’ individuals, families and groups have the knowledge, ability and commitment locally to address the issue of suicide and to develop relevant and local solutions to the problem. The communities participating in this initiative were Aurukun, Cunnamulla, Doomadgee, Mornington Island, Mount Isa and St George.
Everyone understands that working in the mining and resources sector in rural and remote Queensland, and throughout Australia, is physically demanding. Long hours, heavy work and challenging conditions can make it bloody tough. But what is often overlooked is that this work can also be psychologically and emotionally demanding.
The aim of this paper is to present a review of literature and other information which will inform Queensland Health on the development of an appropriate framework for mental health service delivery to rural and remote regions in the state. Although there are gaps in the information available due to a lack of systematic research in rural and remote mental health in general, we do know that these communities do not have the levels of services that urban communities take for granted and that health and mental health outcomes are significantly poorer. Indeed accessibility can be directly linked to general health service utilisation (Eckert et al, 2004) and mental wellbeing (Murray et al, 2004).
"I am delighted to present the fifth Annual Report for the Centre for Rural & Remote Mental Health Queensland.
Against the backdrop of natural disasters, global economic instability and domestic uncertainty, all of which play into the emotional and mental wellbeing of Australians who live and work in rural and remote Australia, the Centre has yet again demonstrated its uniqueness and its relevance."
Jim Petrich AM
For information on previous annual reports, please go to www.crrmhq.com.au/publications/corportate-publications