Photo: Look After Your Mates organising committee: From left – David Kerrigan (Central West Health),
Leanne Fawcett (Lives Lived Well), Sharon Varela (James Cook University, Centre for Rural
and Remote Health), Deirdre Murphy (Central West Health), Jim Egan (President RSL Subbranch
Longreach and Convenor), Inspector Mark Henderson (Queensland Police Service),
Jamie Small (Central West Health) and Peter Coombes (RSL Sub-branch Secretary and James
Cook University, Centre for Rural and Remote Health).

Central West residents will be encouraged to look after their mates at a special mental health
forum to be held in Longreach on 13 October.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Regional Adversity Integrated Care Clinician Jamie
Small said the health service was partnering with a group of local stakeholders including the
RSL to deliver the “Look After Your Mates’’ forum.

The forum will be held at the Longreach Civic Centre from 8.30 am.

Mr Small said the free one-day event would focus on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Our aim is to improve the capacity of participants for identifying people experiencing
deteriorating mental wellness and helping them to link in with appropriate support,’’ he said.

“This awareness of the signs, symptoms, and most appropriate support and care pathways will
improve the well-being of the many current and ex-service personnel, emergency service
workers and other community members who experience PTSD – including those who regularly
pass through our communities during the tourist season.’’

Mr Small said PTSD and suicide prevention specialist Professor David Crompton would be a
keynote speaker on the day, along with returned serviceman and former test cricketer Tony
Dell, who is also the founder of the Stand Tall 4 PTS group.

Longreach Hospital Director of Medical Services Dr David Walker also will speak at the forum.
Mr Small said the forum would be followed by an optional two-day Standard Mental Health First
Aid training course to be delivered at Longreach Hospital on 14 and 15 October.

“I encourage as many people as possible to attend the one-day forum, as well as consider
doing the mental health first aid course – for your mates’ sake,’’ he said.

• Anyone interested in participating in the forum should RSVP by 29 September by
phoning 0400 300 267 or emailing: longreachrslsubbranch@gmail.com
• People wishing to register for the mental health first aid training on 14–15 October
are requested to contact 4652 7951.

ENDS