The Royal Flying Doctor Service has launched a new campaign in Queensland aimed at promoting better connections to support mental health and wellbeing.
The Small Talk, Big Difference campaign, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements is being rolled out across monsoon-impacted shires in the state's west.
RFDS Outback Mental Health Clinical Lead Dr Tim Driscoll said remaining connected to others was essential to our health and wellbeing.
"Most of us get through tough times in life with the help of family and friends," Dr Driscoll said.
"The Small Talk, Big Difference campaign will equip people with the skills and knowledge to better connect with their own community, as well as health professionals.
"While the campaign is targeted to people living within flood-impacted shires in western Queensland, the messaging has relevance for anyone interested in improving their wellbeing and connections with others. This could be someone who has been impacted directly by mental health concerns, or those who know of someone experiencing challenges, which is most of us."
Dr Driscoll said a variety of activities and resources would be delivered through the Small Talk, Big Difference campaign to assist people develop and maintain connections.
"Webinars, virtual morning tea events, podcasts and downloadable resources will all be made available over the next 12 months," he said.
"For example, advice on using technology to stay connected will be a focus as a method to overcome the distance and isolation experienced by many living in rural and remote areas.
"We also want to help people become more comfortable and confident in having challenging conversations, particularly about mental health. Help is readily available, but sometimes people need encouragement from those close to them, to get the help they need.
"The campaign will encourage people to seek help and talk over their concerns with a GP. A local GP or health centre is the best place to start, offering direct support and linking you in with professionals who can help you through the hard times."
Executive Director of Queensland Health's Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch Dr John Allan said it was important for people to stay connected and to look out for each other.
"Don't be afraid of encouraging your family or friends to seek help if they are feeling stressed, anxious or down.
"Remember we are stronger together and we can get through these tough times," he said.
For more information, visit www.smalltalkbigdifference.com.au
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