'Mental health up to all'
Mental health issues, despite much effort and financial appropriations, continue to make up a major proportion of this nations overall burden of disease. Governments pour human and financial resources into an ever increasing story of despair, with little or no reward. Fighting mental illness has become a major industry in itself, something no society should rest easy with.
Australia may be a lucky country, but for many it is a place of great personal challenge and struggle. Too many fall by the wayside.
Instead of foisting our responsibility to care for those around us onto the medical profession and government, each of us (can) practise an open-minded attitude, to be non-judgemental and compassionate, to celebrate oneness, instead of endorsing the modern "cult of the self".
It is time to challenge our own attitudes, to ask the reason of our prejudices, to be honest as to why we no longer commit so much of our time to the welfare of each other. Our busy lifestyles leave us time only for our own needs and kin. The rest have to manage the best they can, no matter how unable they may be.
If the common good is not thriving, none of us truly are.
Mental Illnesses are complex conditions with many contributing causes, not the least being our own innate personality, something we don't get to choose, and also our environment. Each of us make up that environment; we are all responsible for the lives that environment produces. There are no degrees of culpability. We call ourselves a nation and that does not allow for any stratum of membership. We are one, all together in its joys, achievements and prosperity; we are also one in its discontent and struggles. It is time to admit to our strife and renew our commitment to one another. Nothing else can bring a sense of fulfillment, not the least being standing back and watching another succumb.
Howard Emanuel, Cobargo
'Thank you, but don't be complacent'
Marine safety agencies are marking the start of the new boating season by thanking boaters for doing their bit to reduce incidents, while reminding them not to be complacent this summer.
Boating is a favourite pastime in NSW, enjoyed by more than 2 million people. However, boating is not without risks and any life lost on the water is one too many.
With the cooperation of everyone who heads out on the water, the average number of boating fatalities in the last five years is 43 per cent lower than what it was five years ago and we want that downward trend to go even further.
Our Boating Safety Officers are continuing to carry out regular random safety checks to ensure boats and safety equipment are up to standard. NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers across NSW waterways work cooperatively with NSW Police Marine Area Command Officers in ensuring compliance with drug and alcohol laws.
Everyone heading out on the water should check all their safety gear and make sure all lifejackets are in good working condition and have been serviced in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Lifejackets are subjected to the heat of the sun and the harshness of salt which can cause damage and prevent them working properly. Even though it may feel warmer and the sun is out, the water can still be very cold if you end up in it. Cold water can be dangerous. Wearing a lifejacket could save your life.
Marine Rescue's dedicated volunteers have used the cooler months to train hard and prepare for what's expected to be another busy boating season. We urge boaters to check conditions, always wear a lifejacket and log on and off with Marine Rescue. Log where you are going, how many people are on board and when you are due back.
Use the free MarineRescue app or your marine radio. Make every journey safer by switching to VHF radio, which provides greater range and better reception.