Lifestyle

CSG 'risk to mental health'

A NORTHERN Rivers-based clinical psychologist has warned coal seam gas poses a greater risk to the mental health of rural communities than bushfires, drought or economic recession.

Dr Wayne Somerville, who lives at Toonumbar, west of Kyogle, has been a clinical psychologist specialising in the area of trauma for 30 years.

He claimed coal seam gas devalued rural land and said the anxiety and fear caused by the encroachment of the industry will cause an increase in suicides, anger and violence.

"For a farmer the land is their life's work and the value of that land is often their only superannuation and the only legacy they have for their children," he said.

"My concern is that even though some people will react with depression and some will suicide, in the face of such massive losses of property wealth and their future, some people will react violently with anger and revenge."

Dr Somerville said people living in rural areas had, to date used their anxiety and fear constructively by organising petitions and protests, but he said that would change if the industry was allowed to progress.

"If the danger (of coal seam gas) remains, then the anger will either turn inward as depression or it will turn outward as anger and violence," he said.

"The anger that comes from being harmed by a person who doesn't care for you and means you ill is much harder to resolve than the trauma that comes due to natural disasters.

"Stories of ruined lives are not the fantasy of a few radicals, they are reality."

About 550 people attended a rally in Kyogle on Sunday as part of a national day of action against coal-seam gas.

 

WHERE TO GO FOR HELP

Lifeline: 131114

SANE Australia Helpline: 1800187263

Beyondblue information line: 1300224636

Reach Out! Youth website: www.reachout.com.au

Topics:  coal seam gas, csg, mental health




7 most expensive (and cutest) puppies on the Northern Rivers

Border collie puppies for sale in the Rosebank area.

How much would you be willing to pay for a gorgeous pooch?

New plans for former motorbike shop in South Lismore

FRONT: Plans for the South Lismore motorbike business to be changed to a gym.

Development application will give the site a new purpose

Lismore mayoral candidates scored by anti-fluoride group

Fluoride has been a divisive issue in the community.

Will a new Lismore council mean a change of heart on fluoride?

Latest deals and offers

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Falls tickets go on sale

Cold War Kids wow audiences at Falls Festival in Byron Bay despite the soaring tempratures and humidity. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

General sale starts at 9am

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m