Funding boost for grassroots rural mental health services

There’ll be 20 extra farm gate mental health counsellors on the ground across NSW, following the State Government $6.3 million grant for rural mental health. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier, Regional NSW Minister John Barilaro and Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies announced the funding this week, highlighting the crucial role RAMHP plays during drought.

It will be provided over the next two years, delivering some 44,000 hours of mental support into regional communities.

“Simply being able to speak to someone about your mental health is one of the strongest tools we have to get through these challenging times,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We have increased the number of ‘farm gate’ counsellors on-hand ready to talk to farmers, individuals and business owners in our regional communities and walk side-by-side with them through this drought.”

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) is among the funding recipients.

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RAMHP provides a network of on-the-staff to identify people experiencing mental health problems and link them to support services. The program is run by Centre runs the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program. It also offers workplace and community workshops.

The funding will deliver 5 new mental health positions to extend RAMHP’s network covering Camden, Moss Vale, Tamworth, Mudgee and communities in the Central Tablelands.

There will be 15 other counsellor positions created across the state covering local health districts in Western NSW, Hunter-New England, Murrumbidgee, Nepean-Blue Mountains, South Western Sydney and Illawarra-Shoalhaven .

“People with lived experience of life on the land will lend a hand at events to start those conversations that might not otherwise be had. This is about reducing stigma, providing hope and support, and most importantly recovery,” Mrs Davies said.

10 local wellbeing events will be held in towns across the State in Dubbo, Yeoval, Narromine, Nyngan, Bourke, Coonamble, Walgett, Coonabarabran, Mudgee and Gilgrandra.

For crisis support phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For more information on mental health services in your community contact the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511, or visit www.crrmh.com.au for rural mental health information.