Where does youth friendly mental health access fit in rural Australia? Rural young people at risk of drug and alcohol and mental health problems reported in far West NSW, Australia

Associate Professor Rhonda Wilson PhD RN

ABC Broken Hill journalist John Casey yesterday reported that drug use in the Far West of NSW is adversely impacting the rural community in that region, and in particular that methamphetamine use is a prominent concern.

The effects of drug use in rural communities compromises the well-being of entire communities. Mental health at individual and community levels decline, and as these reports indicate, people die of preventable causes (suicide, violence, risk-taking behaviours). Yet rural communities continue to have too few mental health and drug and alcohol services for rural young people. Every community needs to have convenient access to mental health services for young people.

On the 17th Sept, 2013, Casey from ABC Broken Hill interviewed a mother of a 15 year old boy who relayed her experiences of help-seeking in regard to appropriate mental health care for young rural people and families.  In the interview the mother indicated…

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