Margaret Lyons from Yangan.
Margaret Lyons from Yangan.

Margaret to improve mental care

MARGARET Lyons has been as close to bi-polar disorder as it’s possible to get without a diagnosis.

The Yangan woman has consoled her son and held the hand of her sister as they both battled the challenging mental health condition.

For more than a decade she has been their support crew as they struggled to live with the diagnosis.

“I love and am proud of them both, yet sometimes the symptoms of their disorder aren’t easy to deal with,” Mrs Lyons said.

Yet it is this insight which she believes will be invaluable when she joins her sister Rosemary Mills at the American National Association for Rural Mental Health conference in Denver next month.

“My sister Rosemary is the first non-academic Australian they have ever invited to be guest speaker at the conference,” Mrs Lyons said.

“Rosemary has been a very vocal advocate for improving mental health in regional Australia.”

Mrs Lyons has her own role to play at the conference travelling as her sister’s official carer and support person.

It’s an honour she is relishing for the opportunity it will provide for data gathering on behalf of Southern Downs mental health sufferers.

“I am excited about the chance I will have to bring back the latest ideas from overseas,” she said.

There is just a small matter of fundraising to finalise.

“We needed to raise $7000 to enable us to attend the conference together,” Mrs Lyons said.

“We’ve had great community support and we’re now just $1000 short of our target.”

With just four weeks to go until the pair leave the pressure is on.

“I am optimistic we will get the funding we need, because people recognise the importance of improving mental health services.”

If you can help or your organisation supports mental heath improvements please contact lyons_den@westnet.com.au.



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