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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Mental health

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Michelle Wade, Byron Bay

I’m responding to the brilliant article Supporting Each Other Towards Mental Wellbeing by Mandy Nolan (Echo, 10 October 2018).

In both alternative and western medicine, I have experienced a lack of understanding in the prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and aftercare of people with poor mental or emotional health.

Government suicide-prevention strategies are in place but at ground level some providers are not taking it seriously. As one longtime resident says, ‘there are some fantastic practitioners in Byron Bay – make sure you get one of those’.

The transient nature of Byron lends itself toward a short-term approach to healthcare; a get-the-money-and-run mentality. This puts people at risk. When providers administer quality healthcare and treat the ‘whole’ person, the outcomes are better for the individual, the business, and our overall community’s wellbeing.

Yoga has an extraordinary capacity for improving health. A senior yoga teacher of 45 years reminded me that, ‘If you’re doing God/s work every person is your child whether they are experiencing emotional or mental distress or not. Yoga for the body, mind, emotions, and prana’.

Recently, I required surgery at the Gold Coast University Hospital. I was surprised by the high level of service I received. All staff had my best interests in mind whether it was the receptionist, the surgeon, or the anaesthetist. More providers striving for excellence would go a long way in improving community health.

There are legal codes of conduct for both registered and unregistered practitioners. They include risk minimisation and consideration of a client’s physical and mental health in all aspects of their care.

If you are experiencing emotional or mental distress know that you are loved, worthy of professional support, and know your health can improve.

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  1. I know some whose lambasting in the media based on their past has led to long term mental health and chronic social anxiety issues.

    We are a society of narcissists. We still, in 2019, perceive mental health issues as a bit of a joke for the weak. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst we leave issues in taboo or stigma,ittle gets done to counteract.


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