With statistics as high as 1 in 5 people in Australia experiencing mental illness, this is a real health issue.
Farmers may experience an even higher rate than the average of stress and depression. Particularly men living in rural communities are susceptible to higher levels of mental illness due to isolation and difficulty in accessing services.
These are some of the challenges faced by communities in the New England district. If you break your leg, you get it fixed. If you have diabetes, you watch your diet and take medication. If you suffer from mental illness, you need to access treatment from health professionals.
After many hospitalisations and as I wrote my memoir Girl Over the Edge, I came to realise that people who experience mental illness are everyday people.
I am a mother, had worked at a University and am now an author but I was debilitated by mental illness to the point of being unable to function.
It is a myth that all people with mental illness are homeless, alcoholics or drug addicts and a risk in society. Although rates of homeless and addictions are higher for those experiencing mental illness these are not defining factors. Those people who experience mental illness are parents, teenagers, women and men - and yes – farmers. People just like you and me.
Mental illness may affect a family member, friend, loved one, so come and listen to a presentation on mental illness that will also ignite a discussion in your community. Mental illness is here to stay so let’s get our heads out of the sand and start to engage in a discussion about it. Let’s challenge the stigma and shame around mental illness by talking about it.
For more details go to the website kimhodges.id.au
Kim will be presenting her book, “Girl Over the Edge” at libraries around the region. the book follows from her successful debut memoir “Girl On the Edge”, that detailed her lived experience of mental illness over five years. The second memoir is to be released in May 2018 and will be presented at the following areas:-
- Armidale Library at 11am on Saturday 14 April 2018
- Inverell Library at 10am Monday 16 April 2018
- Glen Innes Library at 2pm Monday 16 April 2018
Phone the library to register attendance for catering purposes.