RAISING AWARENESS: Andrea McGee, Erin Jeffs and Toni Cauley at the South Burnett suicide prevention working group free cake stall in Murgon.
RAISING AWARENESS: Andrea McGee, Erin Jeffs and Toni Cauley at the South Burnett suicide prevention working group free cake stall in Murgon. Claudia Williams

Services committed to providing mental health support

SOUTH Burnett community services are committed to supporting South Burnett residents with their mental health.

This was the message the South Burnett suicide prevention working group were spreading on Tuesday when they were handing out free cupcakes in Murgon and Kingaroy as part of world mental health week.

Erin Jeffs from Centacare said it was important for the community to understand that is okay not to be okay and the importance of speaking up and reaching out.

"It is hard sometimes when you are saying it out loud for the first time to somebody and to actually communicate exactly what you are trying to say,” she said.

Ms Jeffs said the GP would be the best person to see when first reaching out for help but local services are always available to point people in the right direction.

"Not everyone does know to ask their GP or a lot of people are limited because they don't have a GP or can't get into them,” she said.

"And if they are struggling to talk to their GP they can come to services and we can help them with going to the GP and explaining what is going on.”

While not all staff at services are not qualified practitioners they are trained to assist when someone walks in and asks for help.

It is approaching one of the hardest times of year for many with Christmas brining financial strain and feelings of loneliness for many.

While conversation are happening in the South Burnett around mental health Ms Jeffs said the group are working to help continuing to raise awareness.

The suicide prevention working group meet at 4.30pm on the third Wednesday of the month at Lady Bjelke-Petersen Hospital with members of the public welcome to attend.

"Our area is quite a high prevalence of mental health and depression and anxiety,” she said.

"There have been quite a few youth suicides and I think it has drawn people's attention to the fact but there is always a high prevalence.”