Push for mental health service
WHITSUNDAY residents are helping to push for a mental health centre in Mackay in an attempt to reduce the suicide rate and provide mental health support for locals.
A petition is being circulated in the region to show the importance of getting funding for a Headspace Mental Health Centre to help prevent suicide by offering support and early intervention for people suffering from mental health issues.
Whitsunday women Renee Martin and Tina Perrin said the issue of suicide was something close to their hearts and urged people to sign the petition.
Ms Martin said the Whitsundays needed a facility like Headspace to be close by.
Federal member for Dawson George Christensen has raised the issue in Parliament to show the need for such a service and will take the petition to Parliament next month.
"The Whitsundays are not immune to mental health problems," he said.
"It might be a beautiful part of the world but people still need help dealing with personal issues like any other regional centre. "Young people, in particular, can feel very isolated in a small community like the Whitsundays and it is critical that a nearby large regional centre like Mackay has the facility and the capability to offer help to these people."
The petition was started by Grapevine, a Mackay-based service that raises awareness of mental health issues and provides a directory for services in the area.
Grapevine vice chair Zoe Yaworsky said the organisation was lobbying for the service because they felt there was a gap in the services for this sort of support.