Council shows its support for Lifeline Central West


Dubbo Regional Council will show its support for Lifeline Central West and its YarnUp Confidential program after a Mayoral Minute by Mayor Ben Shields on the program was adopted at Monday night’s ordinary meeting of Dubbo Regional Council.

YarnUp Confidential aims to tackle the high rates of domestic violence and suicide affecting regional areas and Councillor Shields said he had no hesitation in backing the program.

Councillors moved a motion to formally recognise the work that Lifeline Central West was doing for mental health counselling and to also provide a letter of support for Lifeline.

Councillor Shields said he hoped the letter may provide additional support for the organisation as it approaches the state and federal government for much-needed funding.

“I think everyone is aware of the fantastic work that Lifeline does providing counselling and assistance for people and families with mental illness and YarnUp Confidential is an important extension of that,” Councillor Shields said.

“Lifeline and its tireless Executive Director Alex Ferguson have identified that the best way to tackle issues like suicide and domestic violence are by identifying the cause and working to address that. It’s a common sense approach to problems that are getting worse every day.”

The rate of domestic violence for the Dubbo Region is almost twice the state average, while further west it can be as much as nine times higher.

Suicide is a growing epidemic. Four out of five suicides are men and suicide in regional areas occurs at three times the rate of metropolitan areas. The Indigenous community is most at risk, with twice the rate of suicides compared to non-Aboriginal people.

One of the key aspects of YarnUp would be the recruitment of Aboriginal staff to assist with one of the most at-risk demographics. This program would help deal with some of the mistrust by those who seek help, and also aim to create a conversation within the community.

The program would also provide a safety net, with support including a 24/7 discreet telephone centre and additional methods of communication with people who try and make contact.

Last Edited: 30 Oct 2018

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