Doctor demands action over 'distressing' suicide rates

TOOWOOMBA doctor Kent Perkins was distressed to learn that there were about five per cent more suicides in Toowoomba when compared to Brisbane.

"It's even worse the further out you go," he said.

"I would imagine that statistic is bigger with youth suicide and this is one area we really need to focus some attention on.

"One thing that I noticed from my work with psychologists is that youth struggle with their purpose.

"We need to change attitudes.

"People need to shift from seeing youth as a group of people who are going through tough times in life, prone to rebellion and destruction and encourage them to tap into that amazing source of energy they have for the benefit of the community."

Dr Kent Perkins from Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement wants to see regional and remote communities get their fair share of health funding, Friday, April 29, 2016.
Dr Kent Perkins from Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement wants to see regional and remote communities get their fair share of health funding, Friday, April 29, 2016. Kevin Farmer

The Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement doctor said there was plenty of funding in health care but distribution was an issue.

"Our previous governments developed one of the best health care systems in the world but unfortunately what we see is these disparities between who needs the funding and who gets it," he said.

With eight per cent more obesity in Toowoomba than Brisbane, Dr Perkins encouraged more active transport rather than passive (driving cars) and for schools and community groups to host workshops on understanding basic health needs.

Dr Kent Perkins from Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement wants to see regional and remote communities get their fair share of health funding, Friday, April 29, 2016.
Dr Kent Perkins from Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement wants to see regional and remote communities get their fair share of health funding, Friday, April 29, 2016. Kevin Farmer

To better regional Australia's health services, he encouraged a more community-minded model of care.

"So you look at a place like Goolburri and we don't just provide GP services, we've got dental services, physio, psychology and there's family services as well and then there's community care," he said.

"The needs of the individual and family are very much catered for in a quite innovative way.

"This is the key to advancing health in regional areas by addressing the person within their context rather than just attending to fragmented health needs."



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