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Drought can make you feel stressed, worried and uncertain about the future. This is especially true if you, or someone you love, is living or working in a rural area affected by drought. Luckily, there are a bunch of support services available to help. Check out the list below for national and state-specific options.

National

Better access to mental health services

People who live in rural and remote areas can now access all 10 Medicare-supported psychology consultations over the phone or via video call. In the past, you had to trek it to town (or even further) for at least three out of 10 consultations. While you’ll still need to head to your GP to access your Mental Health Plan, this change will make it heaps easier to get the help you need.

Head to Health

An Australian Government website that helps you find the information, resources, and services that most suit your mental health needs. 

Virtual Psychologist

SMS: 0488 807 266

Call: 0404032249

Email: admin@virtualpsychologist.com.au

This service offers 24/7 psychological support to drought affected farmers in remote areas via sms, email, phone, online chat and where required, face to face counseling on farming properties.

Are You Bogged Mate?

This website helps country blokes to talk about mental health and suicide while spreading awareness about depression in the bush.

ifarmwell

A website designed by Aussie farmers that provides practical tips for coping with difficult circumstances, thoughts and feelings.

eHeadspace

Call: 1800 650 890

eHeadspace is a free and confidential online and telephone (both 9am-1am/7 days) service for young people. They’ll put you in touch with qualified and experienced youth mental health professionals who can give you helpful advice.

Beyondblue Support Service

Call: 1300 224 636

24/7 confidential telephone support, counselling and referrals from trained mental health professionals.

Kids Helpline

Call: 1800 551 800

The Kids Helpline is a 24/7 confidential support and counselling service specifically for kids aged five to 25 years. Counselling can be provided online or over the telephone.

Lifeline

Phone: 13 11 14

Call Lifeline's 24/7, confidential crisis support service to speak to trained volunteers if you're in a crisis or thinking about suicide. The Lifeline website provides online crisis support from 8pm to midnight, 7 days per week.

NSW

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP)

Call: 02 6363 8444

Rural Adversity Mental Health Coordinators provide info and support for people living in the rural areas they cover. There are 14 coordinators based across NSW. Visit the RAMPH website (http://www.ramhp.com.au/find-ramhp-coordinator/) to find your nearest RAMHP coodinator and to access self-help resources.

NSW Mental Health Line

Call: 1800 011 511

24/7 telephone service staffed by mental health clinicians. They can provide advice about symptoms, the urgency of the need for care and info about where to get more help.

NSW Rural Mental Health Support Line

Call: 1800 201 123

State-wide service support and counselling for people in rural NSW.

The WayAhead Directory

An online database that can help you to find nearby services, make referrals and access detailed info about mental health.

QLD

Queensland Mental Health Telephone Triage Service

Call: 1300 642255

A 24/7 telephone service that provides the first point of contact to QLD public mental health services.

Country Call Back

Call 1800 54 33 54

A 24/7 telephone support service that offers targeted emotional support to rural Queenslanders affected by drought. They’ll even call you back to give you extra support and check that you’re doing okay.

Flying Doctor Drought Wellbeing Service

The Royal Flying Doctor Service offers counselling and support to Queenslanders living and working in drought-affected rural and remote areas. They can also link you with a mental health professional via telephone.

WA

Mental Health Emergency Response Line

Call:1300 555 788 (Metro)

Call: 1800 676 822 (Peel)

24/7 telephone service that will connect you to mental health professionals.

Rurallink

Call: 1800 552 002

Mental health telephone service for people in rural communities of Western Australia. Available 4.30pm-8:30am Monday to Friday and 24 hours Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Samaritans Crisis Line

Phone: 135 247

Youth line: 08 9388 2500

Country callers: 1800 198 313

24/7 telephone crisis support for people experiencing distress across Western Australia.

SA

The Rural and Remote Distance Consultation and Emergency Triage and Liaison Service

Call: 13 14 65

24/7 telephone service that can help with admin, info, assessment and referral for mental health concerns.

VIC

Psychiatric triage

Call:1300 874 243

24/7 telephone service that can help with admin, info, assessment and referral for mental health concerns.

TAS

Tasmanian Mental Health Service Helpline

Call: 1800 332 388

24/7 telephone service that can help with admin, info, assessment and referral for mental health concerns

RAW (Rural Alive & Well Inc.)

Call: 1300 HELP MATE (1300 4357 6283)

A not-for-profit organisation that provides free and confidential outreach support for rural Tasmanians. RAW outreach workers can come to you, or you can talk on the phone. They can provide info, give support and link you to other services.

NT

NT Mental Health Line

Call: 1800 682 288

24/7 telephone service that can help with admin, info, assessment and referral for mental health concerns.

ACT

ACT Mental Health Triage

Call: 1800 629 354 or 6205 1065

24/7 telephone service that can help with admin, info, assessment and referral for mental health concerns.

What can I do now?

  • Check out this article for tips on coping with stress from the drought.
  • Hear from someone else who knows what it’s like. Read Emma’s story of coping with the drought.
  • Find out why talking helps when you’re going through a tough time.