5
Dec 2013

Letter to Editor - Katter calls for action to address mental health in the bush

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Dear Editor,

We have written to the Minister for Health and the Minister for Agriculture requesting their assistance in addressing the growing mental health issues affecting the bush as a result of the drought.

Our graziers and primary producers need immediate and long-term mental health support in such a challenging time.

As with most of the country, Queensland statistics show higher suicide rates in rural and remote areas compared to those in our cities and urban areas. For the period 2006 to 2010, Brisbane had a suicide rate of 10.8 in every 100,000 where as in more rural and remote areas the rate was 17.1 in every 100,000*.

And add to that the drought, cattle men and woman watching their cattle on the edge of thirst and hunger, not being able to afford to school their children, and all the pressure of having no income while being seen as asset rich when it comes to government assistance.

We’ve also written to the heads of the Catholic, Uniting, Anglican and Lutheran Churches asking them to boost their presence in these rural and remote communities that are suffering unrelenting stress.

These religious organisations already have a presence in Western Queensland, therefore we request the Ministers to help our primary producers by giving immediate support to our country’s main religious organisation in implementing a mental health program providing localised community services, counselling and suicide prevention.

Bob Katter
Federal Member for Kennedy

Contact Details

Innisfail
P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

Canberra
(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au