Letters to the editor | April 19, 2017

CLEVER: "Spot the eggs," @coraczoz writes on Instagram. Share your photos using #wimmeraweekend on social media.
CLEVER: "Spot the eggs," @coraczoz writes on Instagram. Share your photos using #wimmeraweekend on social media.

Growing up rainbow a shared experience 

I READ with great connection the piece regarding growing up and living in the Wimmera as a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGTBQ) community.

I, too, was persecuted, victimised and bullied while growing up in Rainbow.

As a junior secondary student, I was pushed, punched and verbally abused by older boys – largely from Yaapeet who made assumptions about my sexuality. I was socially ostracised during my teen years.

Unfortunately, homophobia and prejudice still does exist in Rainbow. To this day, I am on antidepressants to try to help a sense of anxiety and low self-esteem.

Ironically, the boys from the family in question are now working in community services and education.

I am horrified at the message that is possibly being sent and what damage is being done by these individuals and others educated by them.

Name withheld 

Nhill community launches its annual Anzac appeal

THE Nhill RSL sub-branch will be selling badges for the annual Anzac Day appeal, until April 24, at both the Nhill IGA and the bakery on Victoria Street.

Please support this appeal as it does ensure that our veterans their families and descendants get the proper care and services they require.

The dawn service will commence at Goldsworthy Park at the tribute to the fallen at 6.30am. A barbecue breakfast will be supplied by the Rotary Club of Nhill for a gold coin donation, with all proceeds going towards the combined RSL Victoria-Rotary PTSD initiative.

The annual Anzac march will leave from the Nhill information centre in Victoria Street at 10.30am with a wreath-laying ceremony to occur. The procession will then continue to the Nhill Memorial Hall for the 11am service.

We would also like to inform the Nhill community we will be flying both the Australian and New Zealand flags because New Zealanders must not be forgotten in the Anzac legacy. Wiremu Larkins will be singing the New Zealand national anthem in both Maori and English.

Our guest speaker is John Deckert.

Following the 11am service tea, coffee and finger food will be supplied at the Nhill Soldiers Lounge for all those who which to partake in it.

We hope to see you all there to support this event. Lest we forget.

Rhys Webb, secretary,

Nhill RSL sub-branch

Distressing content in new television series

I AM writing on behalf of headspace to address growing concerns raised by schools, parents and young people across Australia about some content featured in US Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

The series, which debuted in Australia in March and is streaming on Netflix, depicts a young woman who suicides. It presents the viewer with very confronting and graphic messaging and imagery inclusive of suicide method and means.

Since its debut both the national headspace school support program, which supports school communities in the aftermath of a suicide, and eheadspace, the national online and over-the-phone counselling service has received a growing numbers of calls and emails directly related to the program.

The show exposes viewers to risky suicide content and may lead to a distressing reaction by the viewer – particularly if the audience is children and young people. Research clearly indicates the very real impact and risk to harmful suicide exposure, leading to increased risk and possible suicide contagion.

Clinicians working for eheadspace have been dealing with a steady stream of concerned parents and young people since the show first aired. There is a responsibility for broadcasters to know what they are showing and the impact that certain content can have on an audience – and on a young audience in particular. The national suicide media initiative, Mindframe, also has significant concerns and warnings related to this content.

Help is available for schools, mental health services, and parents if they are aware that children or young people have been exposed to the content and have expressed concerns around their own mental health, distress, or suicidal thoughts and feelings; phone eheadspace on 1800 650 890.

Kristen Douglas, national manager

headspace school support

This story Letters to the editor | April 19, 2017 first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.