The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHĀNZ) was contracted by the Ministry of Health – as part of the Government’s emergency response funding – to upskill rural health professionals and social services groups, in suicide prevention strategies and to strengthen rural sector linkages.
To help prepare our rural health professionals and members of the Rural Support Trusts to deal with the anticipated increase in mental health issues arising from their communities, we:
- Ran a series of 42 workshops across rural and regional New Zealand that upskilled rural health professionals and social services groups, in suicide risk assessment and suicide prevention strategies.
- Recruited a network of Clinical Champions.
We worked closely with the Ministry of Primary Industries and DairyNZ to ensure good engagement across the sector.
- Great Barrier Island
- Te Araroa
- Gisborne (2)
- Golden Bay
- Taihape (2)
- Greymouth (2)
- Franz Josef
- New Plymouth (2)
It was acknowledged that these were short-term responses to a long-term problem and as such we continue to advocate for the development of a rural mental health strategy as part of our work.