James Sapsford

Saving lives one text at a time

https://abcmedia.akamaized.net/radio/local_newcastle/audio/201909/adf-2019-09-10-text-mental-health.mp3 The beep of a text message might seem like a simple sound, but it could save your life. The Virtual Psychologist is a text based mental health program connecting people who need help with dedicated professionals to provide counselling or hook them up with services. Dervla Loughnane is the CEO and she spoke with …

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Farmer’s recovery from depression which led to two suicide attempts shows cost of drought at family level

Country psychologists are in no doubt there is an unequivocal link ­between the drought and increases in suicide, suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety. It usually happens on Sundays or late at night, according to psychologist Dervla Loughnane, who helped Mr Germon mend himself emotionally. She said those times are when farmers have the most time …

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Mental health situation among farmers ‘desperate’ as drought worsens

Farmers are suffering through what some say is the worst drought they’ve experienced, with rainfall records showing it could be the most severe in 100 years. An Australian-first service offering free psychological help over text message for those struggling mentally has seen an uptake in those reaching out for assistance. Dervla Locknane from Virtual Psychologist, …

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How texting could help rural Kiwis with mental health issues

Listen to “Stuart MacIntyre on mental health text service for rural people” on Spreaker. An innovative use of older technology could help rural Kiwis struggling with mental health issues, says Stuart MacIntyre. MacIntyre, who has worked in the tech industry for 18 years, told The Country’s Jamie Mackay a service where users text a counsellor …

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Isolated farmers urged to socialise with others at country festivals

Farmers fighting to survive one of the worst droughts on record are suffering in silence because they can’t afford the time or fuel to catch up with mates. Down a dirt track in the far-flung farming town of Purlewaugh, about six hours drive northeast of Sydney, grazier Steven Watters, 42, couldn’t remember the last time …

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