NSW Rural Doctors Network
Healthcare workers living in remote and rural communities live rewarding and fulfilling lives yet can be isolated from peers to connect and support each other professionally and socially.
The bushfires in December 2019 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of rural healthcare workers, which has flow on repercussions for the sustainability and retention of the rural workforce as well as the quality and accessibility of health care available to Australians living in those communities.
The $230,000 in funding provided by nib and nib foundation has allowed NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) to develop wellbeing resources for health professionals living in remote and rural communities, and those impacted by the Australian bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.
These self-care resources 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. Delivered through RDN’s online platform, Rural Health Pro, the online service helps to connect people and organisations who care about keeping rural communities healthy.
Over 7,300 rural health professionals were supported through NSW Rural Doctors Network’s online wellbeing resources during this partnership.
Through greater accessibility to targeted self-care and wellbeing information, support networks and resources - essential to the wellbeing, sustainability and retention of the rural health workforce - we hope to build resilience and increase social connections among GPs, allied health professionals, midwives, nurses and medical students.
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.