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Protecting the mental health of our rural healthcare workers

Healthcare workers living in remote and rural communities live rewarding and fulfilling lives yet can be isolated from peers to professionally and socially connect and support each other.

The bushfires in December 2019 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are likely to have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of rural healthcare workers. This can have repercussions on the sustainability and retention of the rural workforce; and the quality and accessibility of healthcare for Australians living in those communities.

We’re providing NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) with $230,000 in funding alongside nib to develop self-care and wellbeing resources for health professionals in remote, rural and regional communities, and those impacted by the recent Australian bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

Research suggests the rate of access to mental health services in rural and remote communities is just 20% of those who access equivalent services in metropolitan areas.* By providing greater access to targeted self-care and wellbeing information, support networks and resources via NSW Rural Doctor's Network online platform, Rural Health Pro, we hope to provide additional support and help address some key mental health enablers often experienced by healthcare workers in rural and remote communities such as resilience, mindfulness, social connection and professional rapport.

It's important that our healthcare professionals take care of themselves and are supported to do their jobs well so that all Australians, wherever they may be, can access quality healthcare services.

This funding provided by nib and nib foundation is a part of nib’s COVID-19 member and community support package and $1 million commitment to ensuring communities across Australia and New Zealand are supported during the COVID-19 pandemic. The commitment supports a range of initiatives that focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of Australians.

To find out more about our support, check out our media release here.

*Psychology Council of NSW

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