Media Release | CARE for Rural Australia 

OzHelp Foundation (OzHelp) with the support of Perpetual Trustees, has partnered with Dr. Meg Perceval, Be Health, and the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) through Griffith University to deliver CARE for Rural Australia.

With the initial goal of reaching 300 people across Queensland’s rural and farming communities, a total of 18 CARE for Rural Australia workshops are available free of charge, through both face-to-face and online workshops during March.

CARE© is a four-hour evidence-based wellbeing and suicide prevention program that addresses the health needs of people living and working in regional, rural, and remote communities, particularly those working in farming, agribusiness, and other agricultural industries.

Program developer and facilitator, Dr Meg Perceval has a deep understanding of the pressures of farming and the issues facing people living and working in rural areas, not only from her work and research, but also because she has spent most of her life living and working on a grazing property.

“CARE© is highly practical training that specifically addresses the issues facing people living and working in agriculture and rural communities. It discusses all aspects of health – physical, mental and social – and factors that may improve or detract from it – so that participants may take steps to improve their own health and/or assist others to.” Dr Perceval said.

Research has shown that the CARE© training also improves understanding about suicide and how to respond if you are worried about someone.

“We know people care for others’ wellbeing, and want to be able to help, but often do not feel confident in how to best do that. The CARE action plan (Connect Ask Refer Encourage)© offers the steps to take based on best evidence.” Dr Perceval said.

OzHelp Chief Executive Officer, Mr Darren Black said this program will reach some of Queensland’s most remote and vulnerable communities.

“This program is targeted to reach the heart of rural Queensland, with the schedule designed to connect with individuals and communities through online workshops, or face-to-face workshops in regional, rural and remote hubs such as Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Dalby, Isisford, Wrotham Park Station and Ravenshoe.” Mr Black said.

The program has been evaluated and shown to improve health outcomes, such as mental wellbeing, as well as knowledge, confidence, and skills to be better able to recognise, assist and respond when others may need a hand.

For a list of workshop locations and dates visit:  https://ozhelp.org.au/careforruralaustralia

This program has been made possible through funding from the Perpetual IMPACT Philanthropic program grant. OzHelp is accredited under the National Standards for Mental Health Services and is leading the sector in innovation and has been selected by the Federal Department of Health to deliver the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Strategy.

OzHelp is committed to contributing towards the evidence base to improve rural health and suicide prevention outcomes. Towards this, they are partnering with the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention through Griffith University to independently evaluate the CARE for Rural Australia project. Participation in this study is completely optional, and participation is greatly appreciated.

For more information about CARE for Rural Australia, please contact OzHelp via info@ozhelp.org.au

If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

For anyone who has been bereaved or impacted by suicide at any stage in their life, StandBy provides services all around Australia. Call 0429 147 491 during Queensland business hours or visit https://standbysupport.com.au/

Ends.

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