Start a Sconversation

As a part of Awareness Week, the CWA of NSW is combining its role as a passionate advocate for country NSW with its traditional ‘tea and scones’ reputation for a campaign around the Sconversation, an informal catch‐up with friends on a regular basis. ·

The CWA of NSW wants women – and men – to Start a Sconversation as a way of encouraging people to air their feelings and help their mental wellbeing. This is also seen as an important first step in tapping into specialist support services should they be needed.

The CWA of NSW has long been a supportive social network for women so the power of a Sconversation – boil the jug, sit down and enjoy a cuppa and a chat – is well known. · 1 in 6 women in Australia will experience depression and 1 in 3 women will experience anxiety during their lifetime.

Ongoing drought continues to be a major challenge in many areas of the state, presenting enormous mental health implications in rural and regional areas, underlining the pressing need to focus on this issue during 2019 Awareness Week. Health professionals also emphasise it will continue to be an issue long after it finally rains. ·

To support this initiative, the CWA of NSW has produced a handy reference card, with our famous scone recipe on one side and support/assistance information on the other from our partner, the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), a major project of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH). ·

In 2018 a federal Senate inquiry was held into the accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia, with 18 recommendations following that inquiry. The CWA of NSW is supporting the inquiry’s call, echoed by the National Rural Health Alliance, for the development of a national rural and remote mental health strategy which seeks to address the likes of low rates of access to services, workforce shortages and high suicide rates. An implementation and monitoring framework must support this strategy.