Border Mail letters: Border Mail readers have their say on the issues of the day

UNHEALTHY: A reader says her experience dealing with Albury Wodonga Health bureaucracy shows the interstate health services agreement does not work.
UNHEALTHY: A reader says her experience dealing with Albury Wodonga Health bureaucracy shows the interstate health services agreement does not work.

Series a real concern

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 was aired in Australia in late 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.

National and international 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 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.

headspace School Support and eheadspace is urging school communities, parents, and mental health services to be aware of the dangers and risks associated for children and young people who have been exposed to this content.

The national suicide media initiative, Mindframe, also has significant concerns and warnings related to this content.

Visit headspace.org.au for helpful information 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.

Kristen Douglas, National Manager

headspace School Support, headspace

Who runs our hospital?

The interstate agreement for health services does not work.

The Border anomalies have been very obvious each time I am put in the Albury Base Hospital, as I had a surgery in Sydney and have had an infection flare from that.

Twice now I have been told that I need to return to the original place of surgery.

Sydney says they won’t accept me as Albury is under Victorian health and Melbourne says they won’t accept me as I had the original surgery in Sydney.

Neither wants to foot the bill.

So both times I have had to discharge myself after several days and fly myself to Sydney and present to the hospital.

I complained about this to our then health minister Sussan Ley who informed me to write to Victorian health as Albury is under Victoria. 

Their response was to write to NSW health as Albury is under NSW. 

Maree Barber, Thurgoona 

Rules or just guidelines?

If a pollie gets sprung once ripping off the taxpayer and simply repays the ill-gotten booty all is forgiven so I guess if I rob only one bank and get caught I can repay the money and will be similarly forgiven?

Which brings me to the next question, how is it that our pollies, both Federal and State, with all their staffers and parliamentary draughtsmen, can write laws which we have to live by, but can’t write clear, unambiguous and enforceable guidelines covering how deep they can legally get their snouts in the trough?

No wonder voting is compulsory in this once Lucky Country.

Frank Smith, Oaklands