Nearly half of people likely to have a serious mental health disorder in rural NSW are not seeking professional help, a large-scale study has revealed. The study also suggests unemployment, disability and social isolation are most likely to lead to mental health problems in the bush. As a group, health workers were almost as likely as farmers to have mental disorders (29% compared with 34%), the Australian Rural Mental Health Cohort Study of more than 2600 adults in rural and remote NSW found. But unemployed people (69%) and those permanently unable to work (57%) had the highest incidence of probable mental disorder.
While past efforts have rightly focused on farming communities, more attention needs to be paid to people ''without a voice'' who are socially isolated, perhaps because of disability or unemployment, said Associate Professor David Perkins, Director of the Broken Hill Centre for Remote Health Research and one of the study's authors.
Too many mental issues untreated in bush, says study (Sydney Morning Herald)