Addressing the elephant in the room this Mental Health Week

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Darling Downs Health Staff Katie Hangan, Robyn Eastwell, Ellie de Paula and Liam Brennan wearing the new polo shirts

Darling Downs Health Staff Katie Hangan, Robyn Eastwell, Ellie de Paula and Liam Brennan wearing the new polo shirts

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A new initiative at Darling Downs Health is being launched this week, to encourage more people to talk openly and honestly about their mental health.

As part of the campaign, staff across the region have shirts which read ‘Let’s talk – suicide prevention is everyone’s business.’

Clinical Nurse Consultant Katie Hangan said while the clothing is designed to spark a conversation, it’s about more than just a polo shirt.

“The campaign is about creating awareness and a safe space for people to discuss any concerns they might be having.

“We know that mental health and suicide can be really difficult to talk about, but it’s important to provide a welcoming platform, especially in healthcare settings.

“Unlike an elephant in the room, mental health shouldn’t be ignored in our community.

“Anyone can start a life-saving conversation, and we hope that people feel comfortable approaching our staff who can provide helpful information to support services,” Ms Hangan said.

Darling Downs Health Executive Director for Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs, Greg Neilson said the launch of the shirts are fitting during this year’s Mental Health Week.

“The theme for 2022 is Awareness, Belonging and Connection, and is an important reminder about reaching out for support when you need it.

“There are plenty of support services available and we’re continuously working to create a sense of belonging across the region,” Mr Neilson said.

Mr Neilson also acknowledged Toowoomba Hospital Foundation for the funding of the shirts, and their continuing support of mental health in the Darling Downs.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For more information about Darling Downs Health Mental Health services visit www.darlingdowns.health.qld.gov.au/services/mental-health