A step to help mental health
A MARCUS Beach woman is set to embark on an epic journey to Canberra's Parliament House to present a petition for a cause close to her heart.
Libby Packer, 68, and her family know the pain of losing a loved one, from depression, all too well after her nephew lost his battle in July last year.
"In July 2017 my nephew, who drove heavy machinery in a coal mine in central NSW, was diagnosed with psychotic depression,” Ms Packer said.
Living in a rural NSW, resources were limited and after a total of 12 weeks spent in three hospitals across Sydney for intensive and expensive treatment, her nephew just wanted to go home.
"He sought ongoing help from local medical and counselling practitioners in the nearest major town,” Ms Packer said.
"The health professionals who treated him were very caring and showed real concern for his wellbeing but their resources were extremely limited.
"Although specialist medical professionals visited the region on a monthly basis this service was inadequate and still does not provide the ongoing treatment required by patients suffering serious mental health problems.
"This is why I am planning to walk 1000km, to raise awareness of inadequate mental health services in rural and remote Australia.”
Tomorrow after months of training, Ms Paker's 1000km Gone Bush for Rural Mental Health Walk will take her from Warialda in northwest NSW the steps of Parliament House to present her petition for a national rural mental health strategy.
"Since his death, we have realised that our family is not alone.”
"While it is fine to ask people 'Are you okay?', there is frequently little support outside major cities if the person is not okay.”
Ms Parker has started an online petition she hopes the Noosa community will back.
"I am just an ordinary person but I am just hoping that I can do something to help,” she said.
If this subject has raised concerns, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.