Matters of State | Mental health issues

Giving it Voice: This fantastic initiative is raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention present in all walks of life in the local communities.
Giving it Voice: This fantastic initiative is raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention present in all walks of life in the local communities.

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are becoming increasingly present in our rural communities and households due to the drought creating uncertainty for the future, increasing the vulnerability of families across the region and NSW.  So it was great last week to see some positivity around mental health when nearly 100 bike riders took off from Dubbo for the Black Dog’s ride to Darwin. This fantastic initiative is raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention present in all walks of life in the local communities that they will travel through between Dubbo and Darwin, congratulations to all involved.

Boost teen employment prospects

I am encouraging local businesses to register their interest in mentoring and building vocational skills in young people to help divert them away from crime and into education and employment opportunities. The new RISEUP program was developed personally by NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller APM and will run state-wide in partnership with Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) and local businesses.

The program is designed to help disengaged 15 to 18 year olds remain on the right side of the law and have a bright working future. This initiative has the potential to make a real difference in a young person’s life. The RISEUP program links young people with employers to receive real-life, on the job training in the workforce, and includes workshops on leadership, relationship-building, and practical education to boost numeracy and literacy.

As a community it is vital that we work with vulnerable teens so they can develop into thriving, civic-minded individuals. I am delighted that out community has the chance to be involved in this extremely worthwhile initiative. Visit www.riseup.org.au.

Breaking the cycle of disadvantage

Reducing homelessness is a priority for the NSW Government which has committed $1 billion for homelessness services over the next four years to support new and existing initiatives. This includes $61 million in new funding over the next four years to implement the NSW Homelessness Strategy, which features more early intervention and extra tailored support to help people to maintain their tenancies.

We are acting early to prevent homelessness, working hard to assist rough sleepers into family accommodation and providing the necessary support to address the underlying causes of homelessness. Secure and stable accommodation is a key element to breaking the cycle of disadvantaged. Providing a person with secure housing and tailored support which meets their needs can help to restore dignity and sets them on a positive path.

Until next week, Troy