The Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, is pleased to launch the Report "Voices and experiences: Improving mental health services in country Australia:"
The report is the result of extensive consultation with frontline rural mental health workers, service providers, consumers and their families. Senator Wright toured regional Australia during 2012 and 2013, visiting 24 towns across six states.
At the moment, the 30 per cent of Australians who live in rural areas do not receive the mental health support and services they need. Twenty per cent of Australians experience mental ill-health conditions each year but rural Australians are often less likely to obtain the help they need because of a lack of services and qualified mental health practitioners, distance and the ongoing stigma surrounding mental illness in regional Australia.
The report highlights the concerns and ideas we heard during this tour:
- Poor access to sub-acute services.
- The need for stronger community-based mechanisms.
- Better support for carers.
- Improved training and education for the rural mental health workforce and frontline workers.
- Stigma relating to mental health and accessing mental health care.
Our report aims to reflect what we heard from people who experience mental health challenges and those who work with them across Australia, to bring rural, regional and remote Australians into the conversation about mental health policy. It is the voices and experiences of these people that cut through political rhetoric to the heart of our nation's wellbeing.
You can access our Report here.