Focusing on mental health problems

Colac Area Health alcohol and other drug clinician Maude Berry and rural outreach diversions worker Jodie Roberts.

COLAC’S health agency wants to educate and engage people about the prevalence and causes of mental health issues.

Mental Health Week starts today and Colac Area Health’s community services division will reach out to the community focusing on education and harm minimisation.

Rural outreach diversions worker Jodie Roberts said communicating with Colac’s youths about lifestyle choices was a focal point of the week.

“My focus is on working with youth around their drug and alcohol use and often mental health plays a part in this,” Ms Roberts said.

“Mental Health Week is a great opportunity to get out into the community and I will be providing some information sessions at Colac Secondary College for the students about cannabis and their health,” she said.

Ms Roberts said she aimed to “create a space where everyone can feel comfortable talking about mental health”.

“My focus will be to educate young people about the risks of drug and alcohol use and the impact this use has on their mental health,” she said.

“Mental health can be the underlying issue that precipitates drug and alcohol use and, in turn, alcohol and drug use can impact on a person’s mental health issues.”

Ms Roberts said conveying such messages and creating a safe and comfortable environment was “significant” in dealing with mental health issues.

“People need to feel comfortable in presenting at services to deal with their mental health, because it is prevalent in our community,” she said.

“It is important that we get the message out there so people don’t feel ashamed, or isolated because they are dealing with mental health issues.

“As a community we need to accept that mental health can affect the people we know and love and we need to be equipped to deal with it when it arises.

“So we need to get the services out there so people know who they can turn to for support, advice and information.”

Sufferer apologises for behaviour

by Alison Martin

DENNIS thought his turbulent life was getting on track until he went on a drinking binge, pulled a knife on police and landed in jail.

Mental health problem sufferer Dennis wants to apologise for his behaviour.

The remorseful 33-year-old Colac man has a supportive partner he describes as “his rock” and two young children who are his world.

But he has struggled with mental illness, had an alcohol problem he thought he was overcoming, and until now, didn’t realise what he had.

Dennis said he contacted the Colac Herald to tell his story because he owed the community and his family an apology.

But he also wanted to reach other people with similar problems and try to “stop just one person from going to jail”.

“I’d never been an alcoholic until a year after I got sick; I’ve been hospitalised five times for my illness,” he said, explaining the impact of mental illness on work and family.

“I take my medication and I’m really one of the lucky ones, but there are a lot of others who aren’t.”

Dennis said he was also “lucky” last month that he went to jail and was not dead.

“I’d been doing alcohol counselling for six months but I had a relapse which inflicted a lot of grief.”

Dennis said he had been drinking on September 18, had a dispute with his partner and she called the police.

The incident escalated, with Dennis threatening and assaulting police until officers subdued him with capsicum spray.

Dennis spent the next 18 days in a cell, worrying about his family and he said it was a wake-up call.

“I’ve seen a lot, experienced a lot, I’ve been homeless but I’d never been to jail before,” Dennis said.

“It’s not a nice place; it’s heartbreaking and there are just so many sad stories in there,” he said.

“I’m ashamed of what I did and I want to tell my family and the Colac community I’m sorry.”

Dennis said Colac had great support services and he “could not speak highly enough” of workers at Colac Area Health and the Department of Human Services.

“And the people here are so friendly; it’s not like in the cities where no-one even looks at you,’ he said.

“It’s a small town and I’ve disrespected it, but we’d like to be part of the community.

“We don’t want to run away from this problem,” Dennis said.

“But actions speak louder than words and now when someone offers me a beer I’ll be saying ‘no thanks, I don’t want to go to jail’.”

One Response to “Focusing on mental health problems”

  1. john

    “My focus will be to educate young people about the risks of drug and alcohol use and the impact this use has on their mental health,” she said. And indeed might i add to their family’s mental health as well and for that matter society’s as a whole as well. That,s a great thing to be educating young people for, She just needs to explain that drugs cause drug induced psychosis and mental health don’t differentiate between a real one and a drug induced one, rehabs or drug clinics do, so if your son or daughter seems a bit out there make sure you don’t knock on the wrong door, and just in case you don’t know the proper treatment for drug psychosis like mental health don’t, its 1/ waylay drug induced thought and assure them things are going to be OK they’re not mad but are effected by the drugs they’ve taken,(we do that because we go sane, before we go mad,the same as good before bad, and we naturally recognize the drugs in the body are playing a part or the part) 2/ provide a loving caring non invasive environment,lots of loving nurturing care and assurance 3/ Give them a really good feed, fruit, juice ,a massive dose of ascorbic acid and a course of multi vitamins, there is also another wonder vitamin for drug induced psychosis called L-Tyrosine. 4/ SLEEP- is the main common sense and real ingredient needed, as it is for any drugged or alcohol or run down situation or circumstance, It is stated by over 14 national rehabs in Australia that it is the number one thing needed to repair a drug effected mind outside of food and vitamins, Anyone with half a brain knows the first thing we say to anyone who has overdone it is you need to get some sleep. Standard, par for the course obvious need, its no different with alcohol or drugs, they can fog your mind, sleep unfogs it 99 times out of 100, and the sleep they are talking is three days good sleep, up to ten, so if you or anyone hasn’t tried this first, then don’t despair, try what Ive told you first and your son or daughter will come good,what have you got to lose, you may lose your son or daughter if you take them to psychiatry and forever, i know what id be doing if i had the chance to start again that’s for sure, although in my case it wasn’t me taking someone there it was someone else, psychiatry are causing far more harm than good, they are causing you and many other similar drug problem victims insanity literally, and it will do it until the end of your life,managing a new illness that is caused and created by psychotropic forced poison, with side effects of any mental illness you want to mention in each pill or injection, and the only person who will let you escape will be the arrogant and ignorant fool who drugged you in the first place, the treating so called doctor, so knock on whatever door you reckon but don’t say you haven’t been warned.