QCoal Foundation furthers RFDS mental health support for North and Western Queensland communities

Date published

12 Mar 2019

QCoal Foundation has granted the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) $25,000  funding to support the mental health of North and Western Queensland communities after the devastation of the recent unprecedented flooding.

The funding from QCoal Foundation’s special purpose flood response grant will support the ‘RFDS Post-Disaster Trauma Support’ project.

As part of the program, RFDS Clinicians will assist people directly and indirectly affected by the disaster through tailored training sessions to teach community members, front line responders and service providers how to deal with the current, and potential increase, in mental health issues for communities.

The need for the program has been witnessed firsthand by RFDS Mental Health Clinician, Cath Walker who has been on the ground in Julia Creek since soon after the floods hit. 

“We’ve been supporting a range of community members, such as property owners, workers, pilots, first line responders and shire staff who are coping with their own distress and that of others they are trying to assist,” Ms Walker said.

“Many have expressed relief at receiving information on the normal effects expected post disaster and practical strategies to reduce the impact on themselves, their families and other people of concern,” Ms Walker said.

Training sessions will be held across the North Queensland region, in strategic locations, to ensure those communities worst affected by the flood disaster have access to support. Residents, community members and staff of support agencies will be invited to attend the training. 

RFDS Queensland Section CEO, Meredith Staib welcomes the support of QCoal Foundation to ensure the Service can continue to provide support to those affected by the floods. “The RFDS is coordinating a multi-agency taskforce in response to the disaster and we have already provided support to over 400 people across the five flood-affected Shires,” Ms Staib said.“Given our history, experience, and current relationship with these communities, the RFDS is well placed to provide this vital support and I am grateful that the QCoal Foundation has chosen to support our work in this region.”

QCoal Foundation Chairman Christopher Wallin recognised the invaluable contribution the RFDS team on the ground since the floods and explained the Foundation was proud to assist in extending this support. “The QCoal Foundation established a special purpose grant program in response to the Townsville and North Queensland flood disaster and is pleased that we can extend our long-term partnership with the RFDS to address the challenges facing those communities,” Mr Wallin said. “The QCoal Foundation is proud of its reputation for partnering with others to support resilient communities across rural and remote Queensland and look forward to contributing to recovery efforts both short and long term,” Mr Wallin said.

Contact:RFDS (Queensland Section) Media team on: 0407 595 014