Foundation News

Posted on June 27, 2018 4:47 pm Posted by Kirstie Graham

               Suicide is the biggest killer of Australians between 15 – 44

Out of a class room of 30 students 7 will experience mental health issues and only 2 will seek help leaving 5 without help and on their own, which is reflected in the high suicide rates.


Last night’s Community Mental Health Forum had some really inspiring speakers!

Our thanks to Batyr for collaborating with us. Our thanks to Spantec: Austruss; Ben Olofsen/The Agency; and Wingecarribee Shire Council as sponsors, and our thanks to Mittagong RSL for letting us host the event in their premises.

We heard from

  1. Dr Kathleen Bokey – Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School Of Medicine and local adolescent psychiatrist.
  2. Dr Tim Sharp  of – An internationally renowned leader in the field of Positive Psychology
  3. Inspector John Klepzarek of NSW Police Force whose team often deal with situations at their worst.
  4. Kim Millard – Youth Mental Health Clinician – Registered Nurse at Sydney South West Area Health Service based in Bowral.
  5. Steph – a young lady who has learnt the tools to make her “black dog” walk quietly beside her. Speaking bravely about surmounting anxiety and depression with the love and support of those around her.

The South West Sydney Area Health have a new app called Recovery Point.  This is a FREE web and mobile app, providing mental health information specific to South Western Sydney (Bankstown, Liverpool, Fairfield, Macarthur, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee) for all ages.

When it comes to the community caring about a loved one who appears to be having difficulties – here were Batyr’s main points:

  • LOOK  OUT – note the changes in behaviour, mood swings, not looking after themselves
  • GET  TALKING – Acknowledge their feelings and let them know you have noticed
  • LISTEN UP – really listen and don’t speak of your comparisons or experiences of others – just listen
  • REACH  OUT – check in and let them know the resources out there. For example Headspace ( brilliant things happen in calm minds)
  • TAKE  CHARGE – model good behaviours and help them to find the practical tools to feel better


Discussion took place about the lack of services available here in the Southern Highlands for young people with mental ill health.  It was suggested by some panel members that it is worthwhile lobbying your MP and write complaints to those in power  to request more services in the Southern Highlands, more youth psychiatrists, psychologists and hospital beds for those in crisis.


We hope to see you on 11th & 12th September at Dr Justin Coulson’s discussion “Resilience”.  See our EVENTS tab for details

Read about him here


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