Mental health in remote & rural communities

Australians living in very remote locations have access to mental health services at a fifth of the rate of city dwellers, according to new research by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).The research paper, Mental health in remote and rural communities found that country residents risk exacerbated mental illness because of insufficient early intervention and prevention services.This report contributes new data on remote and rural mental health.

The report's key findings recommend actions to improve mental health outcomes of remote and rural Australians:

1. Stronger recognition in the Fifth National Mental Health Plan of the significant barriers and challenges, including the large geographic and travel distances, that are faced by those in remote and rural areas when seeking to access comprehensive mental health services, as well as consideration of how these can be overcome;

2. Implementation of innovative service models, including consideration of further use of RFDS infrastructure to deliver necessary, appropriate, and more comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention services, more often; and

3. Appropriate resourcing by all levels of governments, to provide more long-term funding certainty.

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