Letters to the editor

Nervous for good reason

The editorial. ‘Nervous Nellies need to harden up’, demands this critique.

The reason so many people at times act like Nervous Nellies is because generally these are the people with the most to lose. An example is if a backbencher in federal parliament sitting on a very slim margin is much more at risk of being voted out as a result of the development of poor policy and the implementation of same.

The current government’s energy policies are a prime example. With monthly polls and the odd by-election or two returning negative feedback from the voters it’s a pretty good chance they don’t like them.

The PM and his ministers generally can survive a electoral defeat but the poor old backbencher with a slim majority is simply cannon fodder. Compounding the problem is when the decision makers as a block ignore negative results and because of personal ideology stubbornly pursue unpopular policies.

When they are ignored, backbenchers have little option but to raise their concerns in mediums outside their party room and with much fervour.

As I said, those with the most to lose are the ones to complain the loudest and if that labels you a Nervous Nellie then so be it.

B. Cumberland, North Nowra

Recognise great work

The majority of Australians are touched by the impact of mental health in some way.

Many live with the daily burden of anxiety or depression, or care for a loved one. Devastatingly, thousands of Australians die by suicide each year and many more make an attempt. It is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age, but it can be prevented.

There are thousands of people working tirelessly to make a difference in this field and their efforts could not be more urgent. Anyone who knows of such a person would no doubt appreciate their achievements, but I would encourage them to take it one step further and nominate them for the Australian Mental Health Prize.

The prize was established to acknowledge those who are doing innovative work in this area, whether they are involved in the industry as a vocation or are advocates because they have been touched by mental illness. Acknowledging those who work or volunteer in the industry is an important part of the process to destigmatising mental illness.

Nominations are now open and I urge people to nominate people in your area.

More information and nomination forms can be obtained from www.australianmentalhealthprize.org.au. Entries close on September 7. For those who are living with the burden of mental illness every day, thank you for your support. 

I. Buttrose, Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group

Standards to be set

In every part of the state I hear from nurses and midwives doing extraordinary work but who are under severe pressure.

It is frankly scandalous that our regional hospitals have fewer nurses per patient than in the big Sydney hospitals.

Understaffing affects every nurse, patient and family. In our regional areas it means less time with patients, higher staff turnover and worse patient outcomes.

That is why I recently joined hundreds of nurses to announce Labor’s Regional Nurse Ratios policy - to bring regional hospitals to the same staffing levels as in Sydney.

It means hundreds more nurses and better care in dozens of hospitals from Lismore to Broken Hill to Wagga Wagga. 

And it means when your loved ones are sick, the care you receive in a regional hospital will be at the same standard as the big Sydney Hospitals.

We should never accept a lesser level of care based on where you live. After eight long years of the Liberals and Nationals, and a $2 billion Sydney stadium splurge, it is time to make a change. 

L. Foley, NSW Labor Leader

PIC OF THE DAY: Cameron Rouse captured the calm of the Crookhaven River. Send photos to editor.scregister@fairfaxmedia.com.au

PIC OF THE DAY: Cameron Rouse captured the calm of the Crookhaven River. Send photos to editor.scregister@fairfaxmedia.com.au