In rural Australia mental health needs occur in a unique context. Social isolation, low mental health literacy, poor access and pathways to care, heightened visibility, relative lack of privacy, increased carer burden, reduced access to transport, and a lack of mental health services can place rural people with psychological issues at greater risk of stigma, untreated illness, social disconnection and chronic health problems.In south-western NSW some innovative practical strategies and services are being delivered that take into account these special challenges. Two of these will be outlined in this article: primary care-based clinical services, and university education and training. The former initiative aims to address pathways and access to care, isolation and transport, cost, and availability of mental health services to decrease the duration of untreated illness in the local community. The latter initiative concentrates on improving rural workforce (training locals to work local), professional support, and access issues.
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2007|