Rural Mental Health - Don't Forget Us
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Imagine you've just witnessed your 3 year old son in a horrific accident and you're on the phone with emergency services hoping they get there in time...
Imagine you've just gone to the bank to withdraw money and you have insufficient funds. You've got mouths to feed, family to support and bills to pay. Hope is fading...
Imagine you've just lost your partner. They were the breadwinner, paid all the bills and you don't know any of the passwords. Where do you turn?
Imagine the results of your test has come back and it's terminal. Who do you talk to? Where do you go to for help?
Now imagine you live in rural Australia, 100kms to the closest town. A 5 hour drive to a capital city. Where is the help you desperately need? There is currently only 2 mental health psychologists per 100,000 people in regional Australia. There is an 8 month wait list to see someone. The mental health plan requires an initial visit to a GP which will cost you $74, a tank of fuel to get there and a 3 day wait just to see the GP before anything else.
The system is failing in regional Australia and this is why rural mental health needs change . What is the value of a person's life when the specialist requires a certain number of people before they warrant travelling to regional Australia to see them all? This could take months. In the interim what do they do? Where do they go to for mental health services?
In regional Australia we dont need a phone call and we dont need a Skype session. We need to see someone face to face.
"Meeting face-to-face is strong preventive medicine for depression." Alan Teo, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University.
Helps us bring awareness to the powers that be to make changes for rural mental health. We can't be forgotten any longer. We desperately need these services in the bush and we can't keep losing our friends.
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