BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE: One in nine men and one in eight women in our region suffer high levels of pysychological distress, but we're doing something about it. This record Gympie selfie was taken in Mary St yesterday as part of Mental Health Week activities
BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE: One in nine men and one in eight women in our region suffer high levels of pysychological distress, but we're doing something about it. This record Gympie selfie was taken in Mary St yesterday as part of Mental Health Week activities

Cheerful attack on depression

WHAT better way to combat depression and anxiety than to do something cheerful and carefree - like attempt the national record for the biggest selfie ever?

About 100 people turned up in Mary St yesterday to be in the selfie photograph, taken at the City Centre Stage.

Organised as part of Mental Health Week, the event focused attention on the fact that a lot of us are suffering.

Gympie's Sunshine Coast Medicare Local region is in the top fifth of Australia for mental health conditions and Gympie leads the region. We are more anxious and more sad.

Event organiser, Beyond Blue, wants to see something done about it.

Yesterday they had the enthusiastic and uplifting support of Sunshine Coast Medicare Local, Gympie Regional Council, Partners in Recovery, Community Solutions, On Track Community Programs, Youth+Marlene Moore Flexi Schools Network, Ozcare and others.

"Gympie's a great place to live, but 3000 Gympie men have accessed mental health services," Medicare Local CEO Pattie Hudson said. That is 11% of the male population and with women, the percentage is slightly higher: more than 13%.

We also are in the top one-fifth for diabetes, respiratory conditions and arthritis. And we have fewer doctors per head. We earn less and have less access to transport and 12% of us are caring for someone with a disability.

But people need to know there is help there if you need it. "People just have to ask," Mrs Hudson said.

Gympie Times


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