Reach out during difficult times

By Melissa Blewitt

The effects of flooding will linger long after the water recedes.

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) would like to remind people to look after their mental health, especially in the wake of a natural disaster.

People should also be mindful of family members and loved ones during this difficult time, and are encouraged to reach out to others, especially if they have not heard from them in some time.

WNSWLHD Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) Consultant, Di Gill said people should take care of their health and wellbeing, especially following a natural disaster.

“Natural disasters like flooding can really impact people’s mental health, and we urge everyone in central western NSW in flood-affected areas to make sure they look after themselves, their families and their communities,” she explained.

“Spending time with family and friends and accepting help when it is offered are some of the ways people can look after their mental health during a time of crisis.

“Understand that you are not alone in your experience, and try to get back into your routine, including your eating, sleeping and exercise regimes can keep you mentally and physically healthy during difficult times.”

WNSWLHD is encouraging people to reach out to family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time, and to seek professional assistance when the level of distress feels too high.

“When emotional reactions last longer than usual, when distress interferes with the ability to participate in day to day activities and when you experience withdrawal from relationships or feel overwhelmed or panicked for no apparent reason, you should seek assistance,” Ms Gill said.

“Excessive guilt, loss of interest in the future and thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide, are all signs to reach out for help.

“It is okay to ask for help, and there is nothing wrong with reaching out when things get too difficult, especially in this time of natural disaster.”

People seeking assistance during these difficult times of flooding, or at any time, should ring the Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or Lifeline on 13 11 14. For any assistance or questions about RAMHP, please visit the website

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