RFDS' mental health service 'Flying Doctor Wellbeing' expands

Date published

03 Mar 2019

As of January, the ‘Flying Doctor Wellbeing’ program has started rolling out services in Heywood, Edenhope, Boort, Hopetoun and Warracknabeal. The Gippsland locations Maffra, Welshpool, Port Albert and Loch Sport commenced service in March.

Flying Doctor Wellbeing provides free and confidential mental health and wellbeing services to people living in rural and remote communities. The new Flying Doctor Wellbeing sites mark an expansion of the program already offering services in Dargo, Ensay, Buchan, Gelantipy and Cann River.

 “We are pleased to help local resident’s access mental health care in a safe, confidential - and importantly - easily accessible location,” said RFDS Victoria Chief Executive Scott Chapman. “Accessible mental health care is essential to improve mental health and wellbeing, and reduce suicide rates for people in the bush.”

The RFDS is encouraging people who may be experiencing worry, low mood, grief, financial stress or other mental health and wellbeing concerns to reach out and access free Flying Doctor Wellbeing services. Appointments are confidential and do not require a referral from a GP.

One in five Australians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime, but people living in rural and remote areas access mental health professionals at half the rate in comparison to metropolitan areas which may be due to barriers to access, like distance and cost.

Flying Doctor Wellbeing clinicians can help clients talk through any concerns, and provide expert advice, resources and strategies for coping.

To make an appointment or find out more information about Flying Doctor Wellbeing, the Primary Health Services team can be contacted on (03) 8412 0480 or wellbeing@rfdsvic.com.au.