Outback Futures Enews: November 2017
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Welcome to our November 2017 Newsletter

A couple of weeks ago, mental health was celebrated through psychology week. Not an anticipated highlight of the year or a huge priority for many I would imagine, especially in remote Queensland…yet our mental health is or at least should be, whether we realise it or not.
The Australian Psychological Society has been working on a new campaign in recent times  called  “believe in change”. I love the concept behind this phrase. 
I think so often we get so stuck in one place or one perspective, or we do it tough for so long that we actually lose the capacity to believe in change. We feel like ‘this is as good as it gets’ and ‘I may as well accept my lot’ and just push through.
We would like to challenge you to believe in change. Believe it is possible for you, your family and your community. It is sometimes very useful to ask yourself the question “do I want the next ten years to look the same as the last ten”. Unless the answer is a resounding yes, then you need to believe in and decide to seek change.
If we want to make change in our lives we need to believe change is possible. Whether your goal is to improve your performance, your relationship, manage depression, be a better parent, or be more productive in your business, you can take steps to move from where you are to where you want to be.
More than half the people struggling with issues with their mental health or well-being, do not seek help, and many have stopped believing change is possible.
So this psychology week, Outback Futures would like to encourage you to decide to believe, and to take some steps to start the process. We would love to help you if we can.
Feel free to contact us at or a support agency near you if would like to explore this idea, or read further for some tips in ‘Mental Health Matters’ at the end of this newsletter.

Selena Gomersall  l  Chief Executive Officer
0417 703 729

Over recent years, many of us have become engaged with organisations such as Tear Fund and World Vision as they have encouraged us to be less consumeristic and give Christmas gifts that mean something significant.
Outback Futures would like to join them in 2017 and make the suggestion that you give Christmas gifts this year to your friends and loved ones, that not only make a difference but will transform lives.  To access Outback Futures 2017 Gift Catalogue, please go to

The call to respond to the huge needs overseas is strong, and rightly so. However, I think it is also important to look to our own back yard and deal with the inequity and issues that lie within our very own state. Children not getting the basic assessments they need, struggling with literacy and learning leading to so many other struggles, people battling severe anxiety and depression and not getting access to regular support that we so take for granted in the city. We would encourage you to do something different this year, and give Christmas gifts that will transform the lives of remote Queensland children and families.
Team Profile
Sunshine MacDonald

Sunshine graduated from the University of Queensland in 1995 and has worked with adults and children with physical disabilities and also in private practice for the past 10 years.

Sunshine also currently provides on-site speech pathology services in three private schools in the Western suburbs of Brisbane. Her current client base includes children aged one year old and up, with a balance of pre-schoolers and school aged children with the following speech and/or language difficulties:

* Speech Sound Production
* Late talkers
* Stuttering
* Literacy
* Understanding and following directions and conversation
* Using words to make sentences and stories
* Social interaction

Therapy with Sunshine is provided in a positive and fun environment, and is tailored to meet each family’s needs. Sunshine is excited to be able to use her training and experience to support rural and remote families in Queensland and Outback Futures is so excited to have her on board.
Mental Health Matters

Many of us like to support and help others when needed, but rarely take steps to support and help ourselves, especially when it is to do with our mental health.  The APS psychlopaedia offers 9 simple suggestions as a starting point.
  • Connect with others. Build a rich social communication network, connecting in deeper and more meaningful ways than just superficial social occasions.
  • Keep your perspective. You can maintain your perspective by asking yourself: Am I overestimating the likelihood of a negative outcome or am I underestimating my ability to cope? Cultivating a sense of gratitude and appreciation, savouring things you love, knowing and using personal strengths, being creative and feeling optimistic and being compassionate to others all help us to flourish.
  • Live up to your values. Be aware of your own values – of how you would like to lead your life, behave towards others, and treat yourself. This can really contribute to well-being.
  • Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with the same kindness, concern and support you’d show a good friend facing struggles.
  • Improve your work life balance. Taking time to wind down and enjoy relaxing activities is an important part of a balanced life and helps to reduce stress.
  • Laugh loud and often. Humour releases positive hormones which increase optimism and improve mood.
  • Look after your body. A good lifestyle supports mental health. Research suggests that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and regular moderate exercise, boosts your wellbeing.
  • Getting quality sleep, and enough of it, is essential for physical and mental health.
Seek help when needed. There are many effective and proven ways to improve our mental health. If we don’t deal with things, then other things creep into the situation as well and we can find ourselves really struggling. Give help a go!
Make a Difference

If you are looking for a Christmas gift this year that will help to make a difference in the live of others, please visit our online catalogue where your gift can go towards counselling sessions, physio sessions, and learning and literacy packs that can be sent to families to use in their remote classrooms with ongoing support. To find out more about the gifts available, click here.

If you would like to make a general donation towards the work of Outback Futures you can donate here.  All donations are tax deductible.
Copyright © 2017 Outback Futures, All rights reserved.

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