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Mental Health Support in Rural and Remote Communities

Mental Health Support in Rural and Remote Communities

Project Overview

Alarmingly, suicide rates in Australia may increase by up to 50% as a result of COVID-19, as individuals battle the social and economic impacts of the virus. 

The impacts will be greatest among those who live in rural and regional Australia.  There is an urgent need to ensure that mental health services are able to meet a dramatic increase in demand.

In partnership with the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation, Wesley Medical Research will implement a pilot program for improved mental health services in the Bowen Basin. 

The pilot program will be developed after a comprehensive review of existing services in the region and provide a targeted response to the increased mental health issues arising due to COVID-19. 

Following implementation, the impact of the pilot program will be evaluated to inform sustainably improved mental health services, which can be expanded to other communities.

“It is critical that we break down the traditional silos that exist in providing mental health support in rural and remote communities,” said Professor Steven McPhail.  “By implementing a new model of care that augments and complements existing services, we can increase access to mental health support when required, while also helping to prevent mental illness.”

Patients Required

Estimated completion

Jun 2025

In partnership with

Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation

Study Location

Bowen Basin

Project Aim

This research aims to review outcomes of current mental health services; and based on the review findings, develop and trial a model of care to improve mental health services in rural communities.

Project Impact

If successful, the new model of care would then be evaluated to inform sustainably improved mental health services in the Bowen Basin, which can then be expanded to other communities.

Researchers

Professor Steven McPhail
Lead Researcher

By implementing a new model of care that augments and complements existing services, we can increase access to mental health support when required, while also helping to prevent mental illness.

Professor Steven McPhail, Lead Researcher

Co-Investigators

  • Dr Bridget Abell

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Wesley Medical Research

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