The National Rural Health Alliance, Mental Health Australia and Royal Flying Doctor Service has welcomed the findings of a Senate Committee’s Inquiry into Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia. The three organisations backed the Inquiry’s recommendation to develop a national rural and remote mental health strategy.
The Inquiry proposed a strategy which would address the low rates of access to services, workforce shortages, the high rates of suicide, cultural challenges and the social determinants of health and mental health in rural and remote areas.
“Government, Opposition, and Cross Bench Senators have together recommended urgent action on mental health in the bush,” National Rural Health Alliance CEO, Mark Diamond, said.
“The mental health and wellbeing of people in rural and remote areas is a high priority issue for all Australians – rural and remote areas are a major economic and social generator in Australia and it is simply wrong that people in rural and remote locations are denied access to vital services such as mental health.”