Bundaberg's suicide rate is a disturbing 52 per cent higher than the national average, according to public health data provided by the Public Health Information Development Unit at Torrens University.
And with depression and anxiety rates at an all-time high, it seems like the public health system is failing to provide the right kind of support to those seeking alternative methods of treatment.
Carmen Lee-Schneider, founder of the local yoga studio Love Life Live Yoga, says many people who join her classes do so because they are dealing with high levels of stress, anxiety and even depression.
“Yoga has helped me personally through some tough times in my life, so I feel great empathy for those who are experiencing hardships,” Carmen said.
“It’s important to understand that depression and anxiety are both the result of chemical imbalances in our body.
“Yoga can help restore that balance naturally and lead to happier states of mind which, in turn, allows us to live happier, healthier lives. While anti-depressants may provide temporary relief, they don’t deal with the underlying cause and often come with countless side effects.”
Yoga has grown massively in popularity over the past few years and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.
- There are thought to be 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide;
- The number of over 50s practicing yoga has tripled over the last four years;
- Stress relief and flexibility are the most popular reasons for starting yoga;
- Many doctors and chiropractors now recommend yoga as a complementary health approach.
In recent years, the yoga community of Bundaberg has grown significantly and there are now a number of options available, from private yoga sessions to free community sessions.