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Health Service Navigator Goondawindi

Drought calendar project

Confronting stigma and promoting mental health support in drought affected communities.

The Empowering, Our Communities project, showcases stories of people who are working to support better mental health in their communities or who have faced mental health challenges in their own lives. Targeting rural communities in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region, particularly farming communities affected by drought, the calendar raises awareness of local support services and encourages people to reach out for help with their mental health challenges.

Project background

Neami National delivers the Health Service Navigator service in the Ipswich, Toowoomba, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley regions of southern Queensland. The Health Service Navigator service is funded by the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN under the Australian Government’s PHN Program.

The service acknowledges that navigating the pathways to mental health support can be complex, particularly when people are feeling unwell, and aims to provide a single point of entry to assist people to engage with the right local support for their needs. Health Service Navigator works with people across the spectrum of need, ranging from people seeking low-intensity support through to those with complex needs.

In their capacity to facilitate knowledge sharing and raising awareness of local mental health services, Neami’s Health Service Navigator team partnered with the Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN under the Australian Government’s Empowering Communities (EoC) Initiative to develop a calendar that would promote local services and stories of resilience.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt reflected that stigma can be a large barrier for people, particularly in regional and rural communities, seeking support.

Health Service Navigator Goondawindi Windmill

We know that a lot of our communities are going through a difficult time due to drought...this can contribute to poor mental health through social isolation and people feeling alone.

Merrilyn Strohfeldt, CEO, DDWMPHN

Project audience

The Empowering Our Communities calendar project aims to reach rural communities in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region, particularly farming communities affected by drought. 

Project aims

The Empowering Our Communities calendar project aims to:

  • Confront mental health stigma in rural communities
  • Showcase stories of community leaders and members who are working to support better mental health in their communities or who have faced mental health challenges in their own lives
  • Raise awareness of local services that are available to support people with their mental health challenges
  • Encourage people to reach out for help 
Health Service Navigator_Stanthorpe

Mental health affects everyone differently and the stories in this calendar are there to remind people that support is available when they need it and that there’s no shame in asking for help.

Lisa White, Neami National Service Manager

Project activities and deliverables

Neami’s Health Service Navigator team undertook interviews with members of the community and service providers across the Darling Downs and West Moreton region to document their important messages of resilience and support.

These stories were then developed into a 2019-20 financial year calendar that is being distributed across the region via local service providers. To increase the reach and awareness of the messages included in the calendar, a promotional campaign that will reach people via local media, in person at community events, and across digital mediums such as social media.

The project will be reviewed in the New Year to assess its impact and the response from the community.

Request a copy

To request a copy of the Empowering Our Communities calendar, contact the Health Service Navigator team on navigator@neaminational.org.au.