Is rural mental health workforce a policy imperative?

Russell Roberts, Chris Maylea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


An available and effective rural mental health workforce is critical to the provision of contemporary mental health care. During last 5 years new mental health plans and strategies have been released every state and territory of Australia. This policy analysis examines the extent to which workforce, and particularly rural workforce issues are considered in these policies. The analysis revealed that rural workforce issues receive scant attention in state and territory mental health plans. Rural Australians comprise 28 percent of the total population, yet rural workforce issues are only canvased, on average 6 percent of the time workforce issues are discussed. National mental health workforce plans do focus on the rural workforce, but this is not referenced in the state or territory strategies or workforce plans. Given the rural mental health workforce shortages and consumer challenges accessing rural mental health services, more planning and consideration to supporting and developing a rural workforce appears warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-458
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian journal of rural health
Issue number5
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Sep 2019

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