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A frank and moving conversation can do miracles.
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It can certainly change a life.

I saw that first hand yesterday at the Tie up the Black Dog event in Goondiwindi.

It was an event the amazing women from the Tie Up the Black Dog Committee had taken to Roma the day before.

Those women are Mary Woods, Liz Wood and Mary Carrigan.

They probably don’t see how they are making life easier and better for so many people.

But it was hard to miss yesterday.

THREE amazing women who care. Pictured from left are Liz Wood, Mary Woods and Mary Carrigan.

The workshop was aimed to shine the light on drugs, anxiety, and depression in the region.

A variety of speakers attended the session which was equally beneficial for professionals and community members alike.

The session focussed on recovery from addiction, rehabilitation, clinical information on substance abuse as well as depression and anxiety.

Sadly for me it was production day at the Argus and I could only attend for a short period.

It was occasionally hard work for those speaking and listening.

At least on an emotional level as people from many walks of life spoke about their own stories of depression and addiction. But it was also inspiring

Goondiwindi commuity leader Betsy Turner spoke on ways of looking at mental “well being”.

“One of the things I find very sad about this community is that some people at their very lowest don’t know that there is a better version of themselves waiting to come out.”

Betsy focussed on:

1. Hope.

2. Willingness

3. Responsible Action

“Hope is arousing a sense of positive purpose in life,”Betsy said.

“Hope and inspiring hope are key in mental health recovery. Addiction follows many pathways,” Betsy said.

Young people are one particular group which find it hard to ask for help.

“Young people are afraid to put their face out there and be identified,.” Mary Woods said.

Headspace helps youths aged between 12 and 25, through video links, face-to- face visits and doctors visits which are all free services.

Headspace began as a pilot program that was launched in Warwick due to the high incidence of suicide in the region.

The second office has now been opened in Toowoomba.

One of the speakers included an 18 year old who has benefitted from Headspace. At age 15 Wendy had found herself trying to run a family, a farm and get an education.

With help from Headspace and a love of horses Wendy has found a way forward past anxiety, depression and self harm.

Now Wendy is working towards a career working with children and horse therapy for those suffering mental illness.

“You get on a horse and the whole world melts away for half an hour, it helps,” the 18 year old said.

A barbeque and QandA session with a panel of community and clinical experience and guest speaker followed.

The guest speaker, Matthew Johnstone is an accomplished illustrator and author of six books, four of which have been best sellers.

His latest book “The Big Little Book of Resilience,” offers a roadmap to developing and maintaining resilience and how to overcome, learn and grow from challenging life events.

Matthew is the creative director at the Black Dog Institute.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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