Feeling isolated? Hard to see the difference you’re making?
Join us at the Rural Mental Health Conference and connect to your sector and peers like never before.
Wednesday 8th to Friday 10th November, 2023
Commercial Club Albury, NSW
Suicide rates have increased in regional Australia, up from 15.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2020, while rates in capital cities have fallen from 10.3 deaths per 100,000.
33% of FIFO workers report 'high' or 'very high' levels of psychological distress.
There has been an increase in probable serious mental illness amongst rural young people from 20.9 per cent to 27 per cent.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, 62.2 per cent of whom live in rural areas, have twice the suicide rate of non-Indigenous people in Australia.
Statistics: health.gov.au, ReachOut, Suicide Prevention Australia
The stats don’t lie.
The unfortunate truth is that people living in rural areas face many barriers to accessing mental health care services. Rural locations see limited practitioners and professional services spread too thin. Combine this with an increase in demand for services over recent years and rural communities are at a disadvantage when it comes to seeking care.
But this is not news to you. You, more than most understand the real issues facing our rural communities.
So, what do we do about it?
Join the Rural Mental Health Conference as we explore the now and the future of mental health prevention and treatment in our rural communities.
At the Rural Mental Health Conference, you and your peers will explore the real issues which are impacting our rural communities right now. Then, be a part of planning how we overcome these obstacles and lend your voice to creating a positive path towards greater prevention and treatment of mental health in our rural communities.
In 2023, our conference theme is:
Justice and equity: Issues and solutions for Rural and Remote Mental Health
Mental Health Academic, Department of Rural Health, University of South Australia
Lee lives and works in country SA providing lifelong experience and understanding of those residing in rural and remote areas. Lee, from a nursing background currently works for the University of SA with the Department of Rural Health as a mental health academic. She is committed to involving people with a lived experience of health services in rural areas in all levels of decision making.
Lee is involved in several networks including the Upper Eyre Local Health Cluster, Country SA Primary Health Network, and the Whyalla Suicide Prevention Network since its inception. Lee is passionate about ensuring people in rural and remote areas receive equitable access to quality services to meet their needs.
M Soc Sci (Hons), Farmstrong NZ
Gerard has worked as Farmstrong Programme Director since it began in 2014. He has led (along with the small team) the programme through its various phases of partnership establishment, scoping, design, launch in 2015 and continued growth and development.
Gerard also chairs Governance Groups of other NZ mental health programmes within manufacturing, construction and NZ Rugby. He also provides advice to Scotland as they establish their Farmstrong programme.
Prior to Farmstrong Gerard spent five years as CEO of the Alcohol Advisory Council of NZ (with a mission to reduce harms from alcohol misuse), and five years leading NZ’s national mental health campaign Like Minds, Like Mine.
Commissioner, Mental Health Commission of New South Wales
Catherine Lourey was appointed NSW Mental Health Commissioner in 2017 and brings over 30 years’ experience leading and delivering major strategic and complex mental health projects at the state and national level. She has held positions at the local health district, state government and federal government levels, understands the systemic issues people and services face when accessing and providing support, and is a passionate supporter of lived experience being at the core of mental health reform. She is deeply committed to improving the lives of people living with mental health issues and strengthening the communities that support them, and has recently led the development of Living Well in Focus 2020-2024, the updated NSW strategic plan for community recovery, wellbeing and mental health in NSW.
Associate Professor of Law, La Trobe University Law School
Dr Chris Maylea is a social worker, lawyer, and Associate Professor of law at La Trobe University. He has experience in mental health services as a social worker and manager. Associate Professor Maylea’s work sits at the intersections of health, welfare and the law, and is underpinned by human rights and social justice. He is the author of over 80 peer-reviewed publications and commissioned reports. He previously managed and evaluated mainstream Aboriginal and child and family community mental health services in regional areas and has served as Chair the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC).
Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Australia
Carolyn commenced as the CEO of Mental Health Australia in April 2023. She has significant experience in mental health policy development and reform, strategy development and execution, and service delivery. She has a track record of leading through transformations and change.
Prior to Mental Health Australia, Carolyn was the Chief Strategy Officer of Beyond Blue, where she led the development of Beyond Blue’s 2023 – 2028 strategy; the development and execution of Beyond Blue’s policy reform agenda; the development and implementation of Beyond Blue’s brand strategy; and the design and initial implementation of Beyond Blue’s business transformation.
Carolyn serves as a Director of Prevention United, a national mental health promotion charity.
Carolyn is driven by a determination to improve mental health and wellbeing through innovative approaches, and bold policy reform.
Honorary Senior Fellow, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
Dr Michelle Blanchard is an executive leader and advocate for a world where everyone is treated with dignity, humanity and respect. From 2021 to 2023, Michelle was Executive Director – Strategic Projects at the National Mental Health Commission, leading the development of the National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy. Prior to joining the Commission, Michelle was Deputy CEO at SANE Australia and the Founding Director of SANE’s Anne Deveson Research Centre, which partners with people affected by complex mental health issues, trauma and distress to catalyse social change.
Michelle is also an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Prior to joining SANE in 2017, Michelle held senior roles at the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders and the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. She was also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne.
In addition to holding academic qualifications in psychology, political science, adolescent health and welfare and leadership and management, Michelle has a PhD in Youth Mental Health.
Chief Executive, National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA)
Susi Tegen has lived and worked in rural and remote Australia for most of her working life on a sheep, cattle and cropping property in the Limestone Coast South Australia, as well as in remote Northern Territory, rural New South Wales and Victoria, as well as Australian Capital Territory. She has worked in primary industries, education and health.
Her interests have led to stakeholder and place led medical and health care workforce strategies, farm injury prevention, population health initiatives, mental health services, remote monitoring and telehealth initiatives, primary industries policies and funding change to support medical and health service access for rural and remote communities.
She recognises the value of rural medical, nurse and allied health training (read the multidisciplinary health care team training), community development and advocacy, health literacy, as well as government and private approaches to serving communities sustainably. Why?, Because these communities deserve the same access as their urban counterparts.
Ms Tegen has served in Chief Executive roles for several medical and health bodies, including in MedTech and other peak organisations together with leading RANZCO, specialist training programs for medical professionals, policy and research. Susi has been on several government and health portfolio advisory or reform committees, Medicare review panels, providing insights from a service delivery, strategic policy and consumer access lens to further the cause of rural and remote health. She is independent member of the ACRRM Federal Council and AOA Federal Training Committee, RACS SIMG and Rural Committees. She has serviced as Deputy Chair on Sight for All, FarmSafe, FarmBis.
She is a keen advocate for better and more accessible health services, equitable research funding and grass roots approaches to health and medical care and workforce planning and delivery in rural, regional and remote Australia, considering these regions make a considerable contribution to the economic health of Australia.
Muz grew up in the northern NSW town of Moree playing Saturday morning footy, Sunday morning cricket and hanging out with his mates.
He spent 5 years at Sydney's Barker College, worked in Sydney for Amoco, then for Caltex and TNT in Tamworth before stumbling into journalism with the Northern Daly Leader after winning the inaugural Bush Poetry competition in 1987.
He went full-time with his entertainment career in 1996.
Through his extensive travels around Australia Muz has met a vast and varied collection of remarkable Australians. They are the inspiration for his stories.
People like the late Northern Territory station-owner and legend Billy Hayes, former world champion surfer Mark Richards and The Hog Whisperer, Scotty Parker, Muz’s mate from Queensland.
His story “Rain From Nowhere”, written in February, 2007, addressing the issue of rural suicide, has touched the hearts of people Australia-wide. It is already being spoken of as one of the most significant pieces of Australian verse in recent memory.
Muz's diet story "A-Z", directed and animated by Zenon Kohler, made the final 16 of the 2007 Sony Tropfest short film festival.
In 1999 his poem Turbulence made it into the Top 20 of Australian Country Music charts – a unique feat for a piece of Aussie verse.
Muz throws great characters into a blender with funny situations, adds a big dash of poetic license and a whole lot of humour, flicks the switch and it all comes out in rhyme. It's a good recipe.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser, Charles Sturt University
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Adviser
Charles Sturt University
Erika Cross is based on Wiradjuri Country in Albury. She has a background in environmental science, but her passion for working with people led her to her current role as an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Adviser at Charles Sturt University.
Erika is part of a small and committed team that deliver staff-focused diversity and inclusion initiatives across Charles Sturt. Their work seeks to promote a university culture that provides dignity and respect to all, values differences, and helps to break down barriers that impede diversity and inclusion.
Erika has vast experience supporting regional university students, including those navigating complex personal and professional challenges. She is an accredited Mental Health First-Aid facilitator who provides engaging training to students and staff on topics related to equity, diversity and inclusion.
Cultural Programs Coordinator, Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service
Johnny Murray is a proud Yorta Yorta / Duduroa man born and raised on Wiradjuri country in Albury. Johnny’s passion is working with community and has worked in many communities across NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Culture is what keeps him strong and outside of work Johnny loves sharing traditional dance especially with his kids so that they can grow up strong in their identity. Johnny currently works for the Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service in their Social and Emotional, Wellbeing team as the Cultural programs coordinator at the Burraja Cultural centre.
Our mission at RMHC is to connect you with the most advanced and adaptable mental health service solutions which you can use right away in your rural community. You will walk away from this conference knowing it was the most valuable and inspiring three days in your year, and it has equipped you with the skills and ideas you need to make big changes – for yourself, your clients, and your community.
Yes! The Rural Mental Health Conference is for you, if you’re looking for:
|Application based presentations to leave you with practical tools to create immediate and positive changes.|
|Networking with like-minded multi-sector professionals to discover best practice solutions.|
|Inspiration from current research, top professionals and community leaders in rural mental health.|
|A platform to share your research, services, and case studies with the leaders in rural mental health.|
|A space to collaborate with and support likeminded professionals and services to deliver better outcomes to rural communities.|
|A break away from your every-day to think bigger, creatively and strategically.|
Join us and walk away from the event connected, inspired and excited by your sector, it’s professionals and its future.
RMHC will explore the theme: Justice and equity: Issues and solutions for Rural and Remote Mental Health.
As a presenter you will share your latest research, findings, ideas and insights with the rural mental health community. This is your chance to lend your voice to the current challenges faced by the sector and provide real-world case studies, solutions and new approaches to creating safe, thriving communities. This opportunity comes up once a year so please take this as your moment to apply to present now.
Partner with RMHC23 and expand your organisation’s connection to our conference delegates including rural allied and mental health care professionals, rural community leaders and the decision makers leading the way in changing the face of rural mental health.
Showcase (and show off) the programs, services and initiatives which can help make all rural communities and the mental health care workers who support our rural communities safer. Our team can assist in creating custom partnership packages designed for your specific goals, so reach out today.
3 DAY PROGRAM
3 DAY PROGRAM
3 DAY PROGRAM
A saving of $440 per person
The 2023 Rural Mental Health Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury.
Welcome Networking Reception
Thursday, November 9, 2023
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
The Albury Club, 519 Kiewa St, Albury
Cost: Included in your delegate registration. $66 for guests.
Catering: Drinks and canapes will be provided.
Accommodation can be booked during registration.
|Deluxe King Room||$162.00|
|Deluxe King Room with breakfast for one||$184.00|
|Deluxe King Room with breakfast for two||$206.00|
|Studio Apartment with breakfast for one||$227.50|
|Studio Apartment with breakfast for two||$256.00|