The RFDS in QLD
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Each year, approximately one in five, or 960,000, rural and remote Australians experience a mental illness. The prevalence of mental illnesses in rural and remote Australia is the same as that in major cities, making mental health problems one of the few that doesn't have higher prevalence rates in country Australia compared to city areas.
Yet suicide and self-harm rates are higher in rural and remote Australia than in major cities. Residents of very remote areas are twice as likely to die from suicide than city residents. Farmers, young men, older people, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians face the greatest risk of suicide.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) has the biggest mental health service of RFDS sections across Australia.
The RFDS (Queensland Section) Mental Health and Wellbeing Service comprises several specialised teams, spanning across the state providing psychological therapies for people living in difficult to access parts of rural and remote Queensland.
Graphic: RFDS field days provide local community members the chance to socialise and receive medical care
The RFDS (Queensland Section) Mental Health and Wellbeing Service:
- provides a high standard of clinical intervention, by specifically trained mental health professionals
- continuously reviews and develops evidence-based, best practice models which define service delivery
- ensures flexibility within the community, to enable a service which is responsive to community need
- targets assistance in areas of specific need
- partners with a wide range of other key stakeholders to strengthen community relations which in turn enables smooth service delivery.
The RFDS Outback Mental Health service consists of three mental health programs that operate across parts of western Queensland. These three programs include the Drought Wellbeing Service, the Remote Wellbeing Service and Wellbeing Out West.
The Far North Mental Health and Wellbeing Service supports people living in communities across Far North Queensland, by providing culturally appropriate, evidence-based, psychological therapies to individuals who present with mild to moderate mental health needs.
The Central West Mental Health and Wellbeing Service operates on a hub-and-spoke basis with the Longreach office being the primary base for clinicians offering services in surrounding communities. The multi-disciplinary team consists of clinicians with qualifications in psychology, social work, mental health nursing and occupational therapy.
headspace Cairns is a welcoming, safe space for young people aged between 12 and 25 providing access, support and information for a broad range of concerns, including mental health, physical/sexual health, drug and alcohol, employment and education and support for families and carers. headspace Cairns is operated by Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section).