Nationals candidate talks mental health and university

CAMPAIGN MODE: Nationals candidate for Orange Yvette Quinn. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI
CAMPAIGN MODE: Nationals candidate for Orange Yvette Quinn. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI

BETTER treatment for mental health patients and access to university are on Yvette Quinn’s radar as she begins to settle into campaign mode.

The Parkes Nationals branch’s approach to psychotherapy at the recent regional conference was criticised online, after it moved to support psychotherapy treatment. 

“I think they were a bit concerned that it might have been referring to [electroconvulsive therapy], it’s a very confronting therapy and personally I don’t like it,” Ms Quinn said. 

Working in mental health in Parkes, she said many clients were on anti-psychotic medication called Clozapine.

“They have to get fortnightly blood tests, monthly [electrocardiograms] and they need to be on a laxative, so all these other health problems come from this one drug,” she said.

She said psychotherapy simply referred to seeing a psychologist or counsellor to build life skills. 

The 21-year-old said she was also keen to improve university accessibility after experiencing firsthand how difficult it was for a student to afford a move to Sydney.

“I think the least hours I worked was 21 a week and that was barely enough for rent and food,” she said. 

She is completing the last of her degree in health science part-time, allowing her to return home and attend the University of Sydney one day a week. 

“The Country University Centre started in Cooma, it’s a set-up where you go and study rather than do it by yourself at home if you choose to study online – one in Parkes would be great,” she said.

She said people in Western Sydney often complained they did not have the amenities of the CBD, which make her acutely aware of the regional divide.

“They’ve got shops, they’ve got public transport, they’ve got all these medical services, really it’s pretty great,” she said. 

The daughter of a banker and a teacher and elder sister to Monique, Ms Quinn said she felt the regional employment struggle growing up, with her father sometimes having to seek work outside the region. 

“We were never without, but we didn’t go on a family holiday when I was in high school,” she said.

But she has travelled most of Australia, often accompanying her father.

“I think driving around regional and rural Australia is amazing, I honestly can’t get enough of it,” she said.


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