Improving NSW farmer’s mental health through SMS counselling research

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The Centre for Work Health and Safety (WHS) is partnering with Virtual Psychologist to help improve mental health outcomes for farmers in rural and regional NSW.

This $100,000 investment will enable more farmers to seek critical psychological counselling support in real time, 24/7, through either SMS chat, email or phone, and with referrals to face to face services as and when required.

Through this partnership, the Centre will explore the effectiveness of mental health SMS services within the rural and remote farming sector and examine patterns and trends that will enable prevention of self-harm.

This project is important because there are many pressures faced by our farmers and, because of their location, they don’t often have access to mental health services.

Virtual Psychologist, in conjunction with Aussie Helpers currently provide flexible, convenient and affordable access to highly qualified professionals who understand the demands and pressures on drought affected rural farmers.

The Centre is excited for what this project could do, not only for the mental health of our remote farmers, but also for understanding new and innovative ways of delivering mental health services.