RAMHP exists for regional, rural and remote people and communities of NSW. The program emerged in 2007 during drought and while it has evolved and broadened its community reach, it continues to have a specific focus of supporting people and communities who depend on primary production and agriculture, alongside other priority populations at greater risk of mental ill health.
RAMHP has 20 Coordinators employed by Local Health Districts across the state who are embedded within the communities they work. They are regional, rural and remote people themselves, and they understand the strengths, challenges and unique characteristics of rural life.
The program is guided by these strategies:
Provide personalised advice to link individuals who need assistance for their mental health to the most appropriate services and resources.
Deliver standardised and tailored mental health training to build capacity among community members and workplaces to identify and link people to services and resources.
Produce and disseminate information about mental health and available services and resources through a wide variety of channels targeting rural and remote people.
Work in partnership with stakeholders to create pathways to care and a flexible interagency response to priority groups and issues.
AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER AND SONG WRITER
Melinda has her own lived experience of mental ill-health and is keen to share her story, particularly to rural communities. She has a strong connection to rural and remote communities after spending a lot of her life touring in them as a country music artist.
She’s hoping that by sharing her story it will help to reduce stigma around mental ill-health and encourage help seeking in rural communities. Melinda has been a RAMHP Ambassador since 2019.