Rural Mental Health Services

People in rural and remote areas face a range of stressors unique to living outside major cities. Farmers and primary producers have had to battle drought, bushfires, floods and mouse plagues in recent years all placing added stress and concern. Rural communities are more likely to struggle to find the right support, however the services listed below are able to support farmers and others living in rural towns such as Singleton.

RURAL AID

 

 

 

 

Address: PO Box 1342, Sunnybank Hills, Qld 4109

Telephone: 1300 327 624 (Upper Hunter Counsellor - Gary Bentley 0499 527 327)

Website: www.ruralaid.org.au

Email: contact@ruralaid.org.au

Rural Aid provides critical support including water, fodder (hay), financial and counselling assistance to help farmers who endure drought, flood and fire.

Rural Aid is dedicated to improving the mental health outcomes of rural Australia. The Rural Aid Mental Health and Wellbeing team is made up of 15 experienced counsellors who are based in rural towns across the country.

Rural Aid’s counsellors are trained to help their communities with a range of services, from early intervention and health promotion, right through to treatment using evidence-based interventions. Rural Aid’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Team prefer to visit farmers on their properties, meaning our counsellors are often (happily) called on to fix fences or drench sheep while they’re having a chat.

Funding

Registered charity

Who can use the service?

Primary Producers and their families - includes the farming of livestock, produce, bees and other forms of primary production.

Referral + Assessment

Self-referral. Complete registration online.

Upon successful completion of the registration form, please contact the Rural Aid team on 1300 327 624 during business hours. A member of our friendly team will then verify your registration details and help guide you through your application for assistance. 

You must contact Rural Aid following your online or postal registration.

Seeking Support (Intake)

Phone or online registration

What to expect (Initial Contact)

Caring and concerned assistance from staff who know rural communities and their people

Waiting Period

No waiting period

Cost

No cost, confidential service

Areas Covered

Singleton LGA

Other service areas

Hunter Valley and 15 counsellors across Australia

Locations

No office. Counsellors visit farmers on their farm

Telehealth facilities

Phone and video link services available

 

RURAL FINANCIAL COUNSELLING SERVICE NSW

            

 

 Address: Singleton

Telephone: 1800 344 090 (Hunter Rural Financial Counsellor - Badar Masud 0439 956 165)

Website: www.rfcsnr.org.au

Email: hunter@rfcsnr.org.au

Information: Rural Financial Counselling Service is ‘not for profit’ service which is free & confidential to eligible farmers, fishers, forest growers, harvesters and small related rural businesses who are in financial hardship, and who have no alternative sources of impartial support, to manage and adjust to the challenge of industry and climate variability. 

The Rural Financial Counselling Service can help you with the following:

  • Analyse business performance & understand their financial position
  • Develop cash flow budgets and projection
  • Explore & identify options (business & risk management planning) to improve financial self-sufficiency
  • Prepare for succession planning
  • Prepare for and facilitate meetings with lenders
  • Access Government Assistance and information
  • Prepare for and manage events such as droughts, floods and fire
  • Referrals to professional agencies.

Funding

Commonwealth and State governments

Who can use the service?

Farmers/Primary Producers

Referral + Assessment

Self-referral. No referral required

Seeking Support (Intake)

Phone or email 

What to expect (Initial Contact)

Initial discussion with rural financial counsellor to assess the business financial position 

Waiting Period

No waiting period. Initial meeting can be set up without any waiting periods over the phone call 

Cost

No charge. Free service

Areas Covered

Singleton LGA

Other service areas

Hunter Rural Financial Counsellor generally looks after the following areas, but not limited to Singleton, Cessnock, Branxton, Raymond Terrace, Maitland, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Nelson Bay. 

Locations

Office at Singleton. 

Telehealth facilities

Video link services available

 

RURAL ADVERSITY MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM (RAMHP)

Address: Maitland Hospital, High Street, MAITLAND NSW 2320

Telephone: 0437 989 044 (Matthew Milne)

Website: www.ramhp.com.au

Email: Matthew.Milne@health.nsw.gov.au

Information: The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) is a major project of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH). RAMPH has 20 Coordinators across regional, rural and remote NSW who inform, educate and connect individuals, communities and workplaces with appropriate services and programs. They link people to local mental health services and resources, educate workplaces and communities about mental health and wellbeing and respond in times of natural disasters and severe adversity.

Funding

NSW Ministry of Health

Who can use the service?

Anyone living and working across regional, rural and remote NSW

Referral + Assessment

Self-referral. No referral required

Seeking Support (Intake)

Phone or go to the website

What to expect (Initial Contact)

Talk directly with a RAMHP Coordinator who will provide advice on appropriate services and resources in your local area 

Waiting Period

No waiting period

Cost

No charge. Free service 

Areas Covered

Singleton LGA 

Other service areas

RAMHP Coordinators located across NSW and Hunter New England – Maitland, Tamworth, Moree, Forster and Armidale 

Locations

Office at Maitland

Telehealth facilities

Video link services available

 

NATIONAL RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE AGENCY

Address: Hunter Region

Telephone: 0427 608 913 (Kalen Sowter – Recovery Support Officer – Hunter Region)

Website: www.recovery.gov.au

Email: kalen.sowter@recovery.gov.au

Information: The National Recovery and Resilience Agency has ‘boots on the ground’ across Australia.

The Australia wide network of Recovery Support Officers (RSOs) help recovery and resilience in communities affected by disaster or drought. The RSO’s understand from their own experiences what people face as they recover and rebuild

RSOs work together with all levels of government, industry, charities, and other organisations. They can:

  • give you advice on disaster recovery support 
  • help connect you with the right support for your situation
  • represent the National Recovery and Resilience Agency at community forums and events, either individually or as a member of a small team

Funding

Australian Government

Who can use the service?

Anyone in a community affected by disaster or drought.

Referral + Assessment

Self-referral. No formal referral required.

Seeking Support (Intake) 

Phone or email 

What to expect (Initial Contact)

You will speak directly with a Recovery Support Officer who will give you advice on disaster recovery support, connect you with the right support for your situation and and navigate the application process

Waiting Period

No waiting period

Cost

No cost 

Areas Covered

Singleton LGA and Australia Wide  

Other service areas

Upper Hunter, Muswellbrook, Hunter, Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains, Port Macquarie-Hastings, MidCoast, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, MidWestern Regional, Tamworth LGA’s and Australia Wide

Locations

Based in Scone  

Telehealth facilities

Phone or online chat

 

FARMGATE SUPPORT PROGRAM

Telephone

General Intake Number: 0477 322 851 or in the Upper Hunter 0417 752 164 (Pam Seccombe)

Email: HNELHD-FarmgateSupport@health.nsw.gov.au

Information: The Farmgate Support Program provides free mental health and emotional support to farmers, farming families, local businesses, shop owners, service providers, anyone in the community affected by drought, bushfires, mice and COVID or any of the stressors of everyday life. The program is designed to meet the needs of individuals, couples, and families, whether they require short term conversations and information or ongoing formal counselling options.

Funding

NSW Government 

Who can use the service?

Farmers and farming families, front line service/business providers, anyone experiencing mental distress throughout the Hunter New England Local Health District 

Referral + Assessment

Self-referral. No formal referral required.

Seeking Support (Intake)

Phone or email 

What to expect (Initial Contact)

After calling the intake phone number 0477 322 851, you will be spoken to by a Farmgate Peer Support Worker who will set up a convenient time to visit your home, farm, business or any other place convenient to you. This service is mobile and they come to you 

Waiting Period

No waiting period 

Cost

Free, confidential support 

Areas Covered

Singleton LGA 

Other service areas

Hunter New England Local Health District  

Locations

Hunter New England Local Health District 

Telehealth facilities

Phone