Graphic: Flying Doctor Wellbeing expands to Victoria’s Bass Coast
RFDS Victoria is expanding its mental health service, Flying Doctor Wellbeing, to the Bass Coast Shire to help address the region’s significant lack of accessible mental health support.
The expansion will see a locally-based fully qualified clinical psychologist offer face-to-face and telehealth appointments to community members aged 18 and above, completely free of charge.
Officially commencing in the first week of November, the service will initially operate in Wonthaggi one day per week and in Grantville one day per week, with additional days to be offered on Phillip Island from January 2023.
“It has been known for some time that there are unmet mental health needs in the region,” says Carol Kahn, Health Services Manager for Mental Health and Wellbeing at RFDS Victoria. “It is our hope to have a positive impact on the emotional wellbeing of individuals in communities of the Bass Coast.”
Flying Doctor Wellbeing was launched by RFDS Victoria in 2017 to provide vulnerable rural and remote Victorian communities with free access to quality mental health services. The service is part of RFDS Victoria’s commitment to helping decrease mental ill health in rural communities, and breaking down barriers to accessing quality health care and wellbeing support.
Flying Doctor Wellbeing is currently operational in a number of Gippsland communities, including Mallacoota, Cann River and Yarram, where it has played a critical role in supporting community members through traumas related to bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No cost services are particularly important in rural locations where resources are quite limited, so we are delighted to offer the services at no charge,” says Carol.
The expansion of Flying Doctor Wellbeing to the Bass Coast Shire is made possible by funding from the Gippsland Primary Health Network.