ONE of only two new Distress Brief Support trials in Queensland will be established on the Tablelands to provide better support to locals struggling with their mental health.
The Distress Brief Support service offers an immediate compassionate response for any person experiencing psychological distress, and who may be at heightened risk of suicide.
While the location is yet to be announced, the service will be codesigned to meet the needs of North Queensland locals and will be delivered in partnership between the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) and Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS).
NQPHN Chief Executive Officer Robin Whyte said the announcement was good news for the Cairns and Hinterland region and the service would provide another level of much-needed support.
“Suicide prevention is a complex issue and given the diversity and geographic location of the NQPHN catchment, there is a real need for a service for anyone experiencing distress,” she said.
“A key priority for NQPHN is to encourage and promote a regional approach to suicide prevention and we are proud to partner with CHHHS and the local communities to further address the health gaps in our region.”
The Distress Brief Support service would provide two types of support for anyone experiencing distress, with the first tier of support being a community touchpoint who will provide an immediate compassionate response.
The community touchpoints will then refer the person in distress to the Distress Brief Support short-term support team.
“The service will provide up to 14 days of support with an aim to working through the underlying drivers of their distress, manage their distress, and support them to feel connected,” Ms Whyte said.
“Support will also be provided to friends, family, and caregivers of those experiencing psychosocial distress to better equip their loved one.”
CHHHS Mental Health Clinical Director Mike Tervit said providing the Distress Brief Support service to the Tablelands would allow locals the benefit of remaining close to home, while receiving immediate support and understanding on how to effectively manage their distress and how and where to seek further help.