Community News

Clarence Valley mental health consultation workshop

Several weeks of community consultation with a broad spectrum of organisations, local agencies, and interested community members has provided a clearer picture of the emotional resilience of the residents of the Clarence Valley, with that picture now being taken back to the community for further input. Early last month, community consultations began with Robyn Considine an associate with the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, following a number of critical incidents in the Clarence Valley during the past year, and the resulting emotional toll that was experienced by families, friends and the broader community. “Many opportunities for discussion have occurred through well-attended meetings with key agencies as well as through well-publicised and targeted community consultations,” Northern NSW Local Health District Director of Mental Health, Dr Richard Buss, said. “The response from the local community has been tremendous, ranging from those seeking input into discussions through to commitment to planning and the implementation of local strategies to increase the community’s capacity to support emotional wellbeing within the Clarence Valley.” The next step is to culminate the collected body of information for presentation and discussion at a community workshop being held on Monday 23 May 2016 in Grafton. “The hope is that the various agencies, organisations, and interested community members will come together to examine the information compiled from Robyn’s consultations, and then determine a plan for building emotional resilience within the Clarence Valley community, and identify the various agencies’ capacity and role in the delivery of this plan,” Dr Buss said. The Primary Health Care Network (PHN) has received funding for suicide prevention and this will assist with the planning process and future investment into local communities. While invitations will be provided to organisations and community groups to attend the workshop, there may be other interested individuals or community groups who may wish to contribute to the planning process in the Clarence Valley. Organisations or individuals interested in attending the workshop next Monday, May 23 in Grafton are invited to contact Jo on 6620 2623 or via email to register.