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Several weeks ago, a team of doctors attached to Rural Health in Queensland visited our islands as part of a major department study.

Called Queensland Country Practice, it was about assessing the islands’ needs, particularly in relation to mental health issues and management.

The result of that study is a new action plan that has just been released, titled Queensland Rural and Remote Mental Health and Wellbeing Action Plan 2016-18.

According to Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck, the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner, the full title of the Early Action Plan is Early Action: Queensland Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention Action Plan 2015–17.

Its implementation will see an impact on mental health matters right here on the Bay Islands.

Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck says the newly released action plan will deliver broad support strategies and targeted local solutions to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Queenslanders living in rural and remote communities.

“It joins three other action plans that link together to contribute to community mental health and wellbeing for Queenslanders, one of which is the Early Action Plan.

“In April we announced $100,000 under our Early Action Plan to create the Logan City and Southern Moreton Bay Islands Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub, run by Relationships Australia Queensland (RAQ) in partnership with local councils.

“This is an exciting local initiative that will work with individuals and communities to build and embed awareness, knowledge and capacity for better mental health and wellbeing.

“The hub’s work includes creating a stronger mental health and wellbeing network, bringing together the many great local services and community groups to share resources, learnings and skills for a stronger, more resilient and vibrant community.”

In real terms, at the present time there are virtually no Government health schemes in

operation on the Bay Islands.

All health services are provided by the private sector.

The Queensland Country Practice Board is looking to improving primary care services which should mean better primary care services on our islands, particularly in relation to mental health.

The island will be working closely with Logan city via the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub.

Some of their activities have already started on our islands!