A GOOD YEAR: Haly Creek landowner Trevor Black is in the middle of harvest.Photo Rhiannon Tuffield / South Burnett Times
A GOOD YEAR: Haly Creek landowner Trevor Black is in the middle of harvest.Photo Rhiannon Tuffield / South Burnett Times Rhiannon Tuffield

Queensland Farmers to receive more support for mental health

THE Queensland Government has announced more resources to help farmers struggling with mental health problems, as severe drought grips most of the state.

Senior clinicians will be placed in rural health services throughout Queensland, to identify people at risk of suicide and work with community groups to help them.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said a dedicated scheme to better integrate clinical care and community support was being set up to provide a more comprehensive approach to tackling mental health issues in rural communities.

There is $2.9 million being allocated to the Tackling Adversity in Regional Drought and Disaster Communities through Integrating Health Services scheme, as well as $600,000 to community-based projects which would better support rural people struggling with the drought.

Mr Dick said the rate of suicide in rural Queensland was far greater than that of the rest of the state, and the areas worst affected were those experiencing drought.

"More than 80% of Queensland is currently in drought and the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting that there will be little respite this summer," Mr Dick said.

Mr Dick said 40% of men in rural communities who died by suicide had contact with a health professional prior to their death, and so places such as hospitals, primary healthcare services and specialist healthcare services were well placed to intervene.

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