JOINING TOGETHER: Nicole Mittan has organised a self-administered support group in Emerald after suffering from a long battle with depression.
JOINING TOGETHER: Nicole Mittan has organised a self-administered support group in Emerald after suffering from a long battle with depression. Aden Stokes

Creating support links

AFTER her life took a turn for the worse, Nicole Mittan has found the strength to get back on her feet.

Ms Mittan, who lives in Emerald and works as an environmental superintendent for Kestrel Mine, has suffered from a long battle with depression and attempted to end her life a number of months ago.

After voluntarily spending almost six weeks in hospital, she has since returned to normal life but attends a weekly recovery and relapse group in Rockhampton to avoid "going down that rabbit hole again”.

"I drive to Rockhampton and back once a week on a Thursday to attend the group,” she said.

"I find it so invaluable and I look forward to catching up with everybody because I can talk about little things with people who understand what I am going through.

"Little things like if I dropped my phone and cracked the screen, that can put me back into depression mode because you are trying to deal with so much and most people will say 'what are you worrying about, that's not a big deal'.

"When you go to the group you don't get told to snap out of it or that everything will be OK, because it won't be OK but you will get there and that's what I found so valuable about these groups.”

Unfortunately, Ms Mittan has been unable to find similar facilities here in Emerald, so she has decided to take matters into her own hands.

"When you think about the number of teenagers, farmers and miners who have committed suicide, it's scary,” she said.

"To know that you don't have those facilities is quite disappointing.

"I just find it so valuable to talk to people who understand what I am going through, and when my recovery and relapse group finishes I won't have anything.

"I really want to be able to have that here and if I am getting value from it, maybe other people will too.

"I finally just bit the bullet and said I have got to organise this and the response has been overwhelming.”

She said her goal was to build a "safe place where people can come, whether they want to talk or just want to listen”.

"I do want people to know this is a self-administered support group,” she said. "If anybody in the group does need help, we won't be able to provide that level of information or guidance.

"It is somewhere for people who need to chat and feel safe in an environment without judgment.

"If you don't want to talk, you can listen and find out what other people do to cope and maybe make some friendships and start to develop a more positive lifestyle.”

New help group finds a venue

Nicole Mittan is pleased to announce she has managed to organise a location for her self-administered support group after gaining much community support.

"It's with much thanks that I am able to announce that Bean Cafe Emerald will open its doors for 'just us' on the last Tuesday of each month,” she posted on her Facebook page Emerald Depression and Anxiety Support Group.

"All are welcome, remembering it's to be a safe place with no judgement for everyone to attend.

"I look forward to seeing you all there.”

The first support group will take place on Tuesday, July 31, from 5.30-7.30pm at Bean Cafe Emerald, Gladstone St.

For updates, follow the Facebook page Emerald Depression and Anxiety Support Group.

If you have any questions or are interested in attending the support group, send Nicole Mittan a message on Facebook today.


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