Silicosis Support Network to meet in Brisbane
Queensland’s first support group meeting for sufferers of silicosis will be held in Brisbane at the Greek Club on Tuesday 3 March 2020.
Silicosis is caused by the inhalation of respirable crystalline silica which, over time, leads to lung inflammation and fibrosis and is potentially fatal. Already more than 180 Queenslanders have been diagnosed with the potentially fatal disease.
The Silicosis Support Network, an offshoot of the long-established Asbestos Disease Support Society, is Queensland’s only support group aiming to help suffers of silicosis, as well as their families and carers.
ADSS General Manager Trevor Torrens described silicosis as “an epidemic”, and one that posed a grave risk to the thousands of workers in the manufacturing and the construction industries, especially those working with engineered stone (as used in kitchen benchtops, vanity units and the like). “Many of those diagnosed still have a working life in front of them, young families and mortgages to pay. There are certainly feelings of anger, loss and the need for adjustment is having a real impact on the mental health of not only these guys, but also their families,” Mr Torrens said.
Daniel Lewis is 32 years of age and is the network’s first Silicosis Support Mentor. In November 2018, Daniel was diagnosed with accelerated silicosis, he will never work as a stonemason again.
“All I did was turn up to work to earn a living and now I don’t not know what the future holds” Daniel said. “I want people to know that they aren’t alone. I know how bad it feels, your confidence goes, you don’t know where to turn but there is support, we can do this together”.
Daniel’s goal is to help others affected by silicosis. He wants people affected in any way by silicosis to have access to the support and services they deserve. As a mentor with the Silicosis Support Network Daniel wants to share his ‘lived experience’ to help others work through this difficult situation.
Details of the Support Group Meeting
Date: Tuesday, 3 March 2020
Venue: Greek Club, 29 Edmondstone St, South Brisbane
Support group meetings will also be held on the Gold Coast on 7 March and Sunshine Coast on 21 March.
Further Information: Trevor Torrens M 0435 895 928
The Silicosis Support Network is part of the Asbestos Disease Support Society, a registered charity.