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News

CRANAplus to deliver a new suite of mental health resources for frontline health professionals

Federal Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton MP announced last week that CRANAplus has received Commonwealth funding to provide a range of mental health support resources for rural frontline nurses and health professionals in drought and bushfire-affected communities.

Find out more about the resources at crana.org.au, and don’t forget the CRANAplus Bush Support Services‘ 24/7 toll-free support line is always available.

RDN’s Resilience, Recharge and Recovery Program

The Resilience, Recharge and Recovery (RRR) Program is an RDN initiative that aims to strengthen the conversation about mental health and support the wellbeing of remote, rural and regional health professionals in NSW. The RRR Program will provide tools and resources to help health professionals enhance their wellbeing and capability.

Rural healthcare workers given helping hand to maintain their wellbeing during COVID-19

nib foundation is providing NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) with $230,000 in funding to develop self-care and wellbeing resources for health professionals in remote, rural and regional communities.

Approach to care – natural disasters course

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) has announced an “Approach to Care – Natural Disasters” course. This course will introduce health professionals to the health and psychosocial issues associated with environmental disasters and the role they can play in responding to these issues.

ACRRM support for college members

The Australian College of Rural & Remote Medicine (ACRRM) has provided information and resourses for its college members affected by the bushfires.

Natural disaster and emergency primary health workforce response

RDN and partner organisations are coordinating a response to provide General Practice and primary health care workforce support to areas of NSW affected by natural disasters. 

We are seeking expressions of interest from healthcare professionals who can provide assistance and relief in communities.

There are two critical periods for workforce support. Firstly, the emergency response period (January and February) and secondly the recovery period (February through to December 2020). Your consideration of availability for both these periods is appreciated.

Mental health support measures announced for individuals affected by the bushfire crisis

The Australian Government has announced a new mental health support program for Australians affected by the bushfire crisis. The measure will ensure people have access to coordinated and tailored support they need to recover from the effects of the 2019–20 bushfires, including access to on the ground counselling and mental health support.

 

Updated Air Quality Index data

Air quality across NSW may be affected by extensive smoke from bushfires. To ensure your safety and the safety of your patients, refer to the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment’s Air Quality Index (AQI) data which is updated hourly.

Keeping mental health in check during this bushfire season

Even if you’re not directly affected by the fires this season, the devastation can still have an impact on your mental health.

Clinical Psychologist, David Younger who works with disaster affected communities says it’s important to have some down time away from the news.

He gave ABC’s Craig Hamilton a list of ways to look after yourself in these tough times.

CRANAplus Bush Support Service

The Cranaplus Bush Support Service Toll Free Telephone Counselling and Support Service is available 24/7 to anyone and their family members who provide a health or health related service in rural or remote Australia. To access the free support service, call 1800 805 391.

Visit the website

Supporting drought-affected communities with buy from the bush initiative

Created to encourage metropolitan shoppers to buy from businesses in rural communities facing drought, #buyfromthebush is a social media campaign making a huge difference. Small business owners and sellers in rural communities such as Cobar, Walgett and Gilgandra are featured on the #buyfromthebush Facebook and Instagram pages, which combined have over 120,000 followers.

Another initiative, the public Facebook group One Day Closer to Rain (Drought) – Rural Cottage Crafts has over 34,000 members and is a place for people in rural Australia to sell their homemade crafts.

As the Christmas season approaches, there is no better time to buy from the bush and support drought-affected regional communities.

Read about #buyfromthebush

Video: RAMHP Profile – Tessa Caton

Tessa Caton, Program Manager for the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), speaks about mental health in rural communities. RAMHP exists to educate, encourage and link people to mental health support.

Watch the video

Mental health and wellbeing in first responders

What are the factors that contribute to excess stress and burnout for health workers? The Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN has been partnering with NSW Rural Doctors Network to educate clinicians on how to identify the signs and symptoms of depression, especially suicidal ideation, intent and plans in the first responder population.

Watch the video

Staying or going the hardest drought decisions

Deciding to leave the land or stay is a hard decision. Finding ways to reduce the physiological effects caused by stress in these situations is paramount. Producers should treat their own mental health and wellbeing as an asset which requires the same sort of investment, management and attention as pastures and stock.

Read more

Volume eight of the “Glove Box Guide to Mental Health” released

The award-winning Glove Box Guide to Mental Health aims to encourage rural people to talk about mental health, with this editions theme highlighting the ways rural Australian communities adapt to and cope with change. Now in its eighth edition, the guide is a partnership between The Land and the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP).

Download your copy today

Free mental health coaching for drought affected communities across Western NSW

Drought affected communities across rural and regional Western NSW can now access ‘NewAccess’, a free mental health coaching support developed by Beyond Blue and delivered locally by Marathon Health.

The program is for anyone aged 16 and over who is stressed, or feeling anxious or overwhelmed about everyday life issues such as work, study, relationships and loneliness.

Western NSW remains drought-stricken and the sustained stress on locals, along with uncertainty around livelihoods, can take a toll and leave lasting effects on people’s mental health.

The Australian Government funds the program via the Western NSW PHN.

Learn more

Connecting the dots for rural resilience

The Rural Adversity Mental Health program aims to link rural people with the help they need, be it financial or personal counselling, social workers, nurses and other allied health professionals, to improve the quality of life in the bush. The Australian Farmer talks to RAMH mental health coordinator Dianne Gill about education, reducing stigma, asking someone if they are having a tough time and getting help.

Read the full interview

When a doctor says “I am depressed”

Clinical Professor Leanne Rowe – a GP and past Chairman of the RACGP – shares her thoughts on helping colleagues deal with their own mental health.

Read the full article on Insight Plus

Inside a town dealing with the drought: How this rural NSW community is struggling

As NSW continues to live through one of the worst droughts in 100 years, the effects are being felt beyond the farmer’s gate. With primary producers buying nothing more than the necessities, it’s the towns in rural areas that are feeling the pinch.

As long as the rain doesn’t fall, the money doesn’t flow. And the drought-stricken town of Quirindi is still struggling, despite some recent downfalls.

Watch the story on news.com.au

Telehealth in drought affected areas now covered by Medicare rebates

For the first time, rural GPs in drought-affected areas will be able to bill Medicare for mental health consultations by phone.

Read full story from RACGP

Rural youth mental health outreach program launched to support rural western NSW

Mental health challenges in rural areas of Australia are particularly concerning, with statistics showing that one in four young people experience mental health concerns over a 12 month period.

To help tackle this significant issue, the Benevolent Society has partnered with Bila Muuji Aboriginal Corporation Health Service – an organisation that provides Primary Health Care representation to the Aboriginal Medical Services across the Western and Far West of NSW – to offer the Rural Youth Mental Health (RYMH) service.

Read the full story

Get your “Glove Box Guide to Mental Health”

The 2018 Glove Box Guide to Mental Health, released by The Land in partnership with the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), is a 64 page resource which includes personal stories, advice, support and contact information to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of rural communities.

Download your copy today

Proud Country on ABC Four Corners

Quirindi GP, Dr Luqman Nasar, was interviewed by the ABC’s Four Corners as part of a report into the devastating impact the NSW drought is having on rural communities.

Watch video

Nyngan’s two green chairs bring relief from drought

In Nyngan Rural Agencies two chairs plastic green chairs aren’t just a resting place to wait for supplies, they have become a spot where farmers can travel up to hundreds of kilometres to discuss politics, sport and the weather to take their mind off drought.

Read in The Land

Government to announce 20 new counsellors who will help farmers fight depression and anxiety

A “FLYING squad” of mental health workers will visit drought-stricken farming families across the state under a $6.3 million initiative to tackle depression and anxiety.

Read Daily Telegraph article

NSW government funding to provide three new ‘farm gate’ mental health support workers

NSW government funding to provide three new ‘farm gate’ mental health support workers. Additional mental health worker placements in Hunter New England.

Read Newcastle Herald article

Amid drought’s terrible toll, we do not walk alone

I’m sure I speak for many GPs who are looking out the window at empty dusty paddocks, dying trees and sad stock. Every afternoon hungry kangaroos hop through our carpark to graze on the few green sprouts in the practice garden.

Read Medical Republic article

How can GPs best help people in Australia’s drought-affected regions?

Rural and remote GPs in NSW and Queensland are finding novel ways of reaching people badly affected by the record-breaking drought.

Read RACGP article

NSW Health warns of Q fever risk as drought grips state

NSW Health is urging people in regional and rural NSW, particularly parents, to take extra precautions against Q fever as drought and windy conditions may raise the risk of the disease in these areas.

Read article on NSW Health website

$6.3m to help drought-stricken farmers suffering mental health issues

As farmers continue to battle what some have described as the worst drought in living memory, the New South Wales Government has today announced a funding boost for mental health services.

Read article on ABC website

Drought mental health support now to include telehealth consults with local rural doctors

Rural GPs will be able to access Medicare rebates for mental-health phone consults for the first time, to ease distress in drought-hit farming communities.

Read article

NSW drought: Lifeline and CWA team up to help farmers

Lifeline Central West has teamed up with the Country Women’s Association (CWA) for a roadshow of 12 free workshops called Moving Forward Together to target those in need where they need it most.

Read article from Grenfell Record

Why we need to plan for the health impacts of drought

Chair of RACGP Rural Dr Ayman Shenouda discusses steps GPs can take to plan for long-term health issues likely to arise from the drought gripping parts of Australia.

Read RACGP article