The RFDS in QLD
Wellbeing Out West
Wellbeing Out West (WOW) was established by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) in 2018 using funds generously contributed by, among others, the RideWest charity ride from Brisbane to Longreach.
The service provides free mental health education, one-to-one counselling and support to people living and working in remote and rural parts of Queensland, with a focus on the North West, Central West and South West.
The service targets anyone experiencing tough times because of worsening rural adversity out west. Services are delivered exclusively by mental health clinicians, allowing the target audience to connect with clinicians direct at events such as community based mental health workshops, pit-stop health checks, or via training for remote station managers and staff.
As the trusted face of mental health in the bush, RFDS is well placed to reach remote parts of the State without access to other services. The WOW program expands on work already carried out in each region by the Drought Wellbeing Service, which is funded by the Queensland Government.
However, as WOW is funded purely from donated funds, the service delivery model is not restricted by contractual requirements and can be flexible and responsive to meet the needs of communities and regions at any given time.
Examples of work the WOW program has planned for the coming year include:
- training front line and local staff in mental health first aid, and suicide prevention to equip them to deal with mental health issues within their workforce
- responding to and providing mental health education and support following traumatic events
- running mini field day programs in remote and rural areas, providing individuals the opportunity to connect with RFDS mental health clinicians; learn more about looking after their emotional health and wellbeing as well as brushing up on first aid skills (these Field Days can be targeted to specific topics which a team or workforce might find useful such as “Mental Health Toolkit” or “How to look after your mates”)
- dealing with requests for assistance from remote stations
- providing clinicians to speak at various community events, aiming to increase understanding of mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and sleep problems.
To find out more about the Wellbeing Out West program in your area, call 1300 010 174 or email email@example.com