Concert for a cause
TWO important social issues will be in the spotlight when an expected 2500-plus crowd attends the Dirranbandi Show’s Drought Concert on Saturday, April 2.
The Dirranbandi Show committee has pledged to donate some proceeds from the concert to two organisations devoted to dealing with mental health and domestic violence problems in rural Queensland.
Rural mental health group Tie Up The Black Dog (TUTBD) and statewide domestic violence hotline service DV Connect are the nominated beneficiaries.
Mary Carrigan, co-founder of the TUTBD committee, said mental health remained a huge issue in rural areas.
“We believe [the situation] is very, very bad,” Mrs Carrigan said.
“It’s become in some areas quite chronic and it’s become a great worry to so many organisations and so many families.
“I was listening to Dr John Mendoza (the former chief executive of Australia’s Mental Health Commission) yesterday and he said it’s worst than ever and he quoted job losses, drought, no money, lack of support as contributing factors.”
The most recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) study on mortality, conducted in 2007, revealed that men in regional and remote areas were 1.3 to 2.6 times more likely to end their life by suicide than their urban counterparts.
Mrs Carrigan described the partnership between TUTBD and the show society as having “enormous” significance.
“Our focus point is on people in rural areas. Having the support of these rural areas is enormous and we’re overwhelmed by the support we do get,” Mrs Carrigan said.
“Their support shows we’re valued and makes us keener than ever to keep going on with it.
“Our aim is to go to those areas where the money has been raised and see what we can bring out and what professional expertise we can bring out to help and advise.”
Mrs Carrigan said the group was planning a number of events for the coming year and Dirranbandi was one of the locations being discussed.
*If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health problems, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
0407 392 362 / (07) 46 250 856