Mental health support at your fingertips

By Simon Ruppert

While we have all been rightfully concerned about our respiratory health in recent months, it is, as always, also vitally important to look after our mental health.

If you need support to keep your mental health on track, there are many resources available either locally in Benalla, or online.

Late last year, the 2020 Connect Benalla Calendar, published as part of Murray PHN’s suicide prevention project, was delivered to every household in town.

It features support and help information specific to different population groups, such as farmers and young people.

It is a handy resource that can help link you with the support you need.

The Connect Benalla wallet-sized information card, which is downloadable from the Murray PHN website, includes local and national help information, prevention and support details, as well as self-care tips and ideas to help start a conversation with someone about suicide.

Find that by visiting

If you’re worried someone you know may be at risk of suicide, you can go online and complete the free "Question. Persuade. Refer." training.

QPR teaches you the three simple steps that could help you save a life from suicide.

It only takes 60 minutes and can be completed in multiple sittings.

To find out more and register, visit

Murray PHN chief executive officer Matt Jones said the current pandemic is causing distress for many people.

“It could be feeling fearful, isolation, family conflict, financial difficulties, loneliness or mental health issues,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s important that people know that they are not alone and there are people to talk to if you need help.

“No-one should be concerned about consulting their GP for support.

“You don’t need to wait to schedule your next appointment.

“It’s safe to visit your GP practice and you can also call to request a consultation via telephone or video telehealth.”

Copies of the Connect Benalla calendar are still available from Benalla Community Care.

If you are in an emergency or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

Other services include:

● Lifeline – 131 314 or; and

● Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467 or