Collaborating to create local solutions for mental health care

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) is working with the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN), the Black Dog Institute and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) to develop guidelines for best practice in the provision of mental health care.

The collaboration was borne out of a need to provide local solutions to reduce the impact of mental health issues on rural communities, while also providing additional resources to the rural healthcare system.

The partnership will lead to the development of local community guidelines relevant to the clinical aspects of mental health care, and the learnings and developments will be incorporated into the ACRRM’s Clinical Guidelines tool.

The College will soon establish a working party comprising relevant stakeholders which will work in conjunction with the College’s Mental Health Working Group and Quality and Safety in Practice Council to provide governance, oversight and direction in the development of the guidelines, establishment of the key performance indicators and development of the tools for collaboration and decision support.

About the collaborators

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine is a medical college providing training and professional development to general practitioners in rural and remote medicine and supporting junior doctors and medical students considering a career in rural medicine.

The Black Dog Institute is a leader in the area of e-mental health research developing interventions to lower depression, lower suicide risk and promote wellbeing.

The Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health is a state-wide organisation in New South Wales that is committed to improving the mental health, wellbeing and resilience of rural and remote residents. An initiative of The University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health and Medicine and the NSW Ministry of Health, the Centre conducts research and deliverers evidence-based programs and services that improve mental health and wellbeing.

The Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network is one of Australia’s 31 primary health care organisations. Covering south western New South Wales, the MPHN is informed by local health professionals and communities through regionally-based Clinical Councils and community advisory groups, and offers workforce support including GP recruitment and retention, and the delivery of local, needs-based professional development programs.

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