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Tasmania next stop on Senator’s rural mental health tour

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, will visit Tasmania as part of her Australia-wide regional, rural and remote mental health services consultation this week.

 "I really want to get a comprehensive picture of the unique challenges faced by people living in regional, rural and remote areas when it comes to accessing mental health services," Senator Wright said.

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Penny's Rural Mental Health Blog: Albany, WA - 5 June 2012

I enjoyed kicking off my RRR MH tour in WA in Albany, a port city 400km south of Perth, with a population of about 30,000. Friendly locals, lovely old architecture and a notable whaling museum well worth a visit to remind us of our past and how practices which we once thought acceptable do change with time. Many thanks to the people I visited who were welcoming and generous with their time and ideas. Thank-you Albany!

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Mental health tour highlights solutions, but also problems

Strengthening and promoting already existing partnerships must be a key element of tackling gaps in mental health services in rural, regional and remote areas, Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, said.

 Senator Wright said she was impressed by some of the innovative programs she saw in communities she visited as part of the first leg of her Australian-wide rural mental health consultation tour, such as the Men's Resource Centre in Albany, Western Australia.

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Estimates: Rural Mental Health Services

Senator WRIGHT: I have some questions regarding rural distribution of mental health workers. It is well understood that people living in rural and remote Australia generally experience mental illness at levels equivalent to people living in metropolitan areas, but rural Australians face greater challenges as a result of a lack of access to services and specialised health professionals. Is the department undertaking any measures to address the unequal distribution of health professionals between rural and urban areas and, if so, what measures or programs are there?

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