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COAG Mental Health - Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas (MHSRRA)

What it does

The Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas (MHSRRA) program provides funding to non-government health organisations such as Medicare Locals, Aboriginal Medical Services and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to deliver mental health services by social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, mental health nurses, Aboriginal health workers and Aboriginal mental health workers.

MHSRRA funds the provision of mental health services in rural and remote communities that would otherwise have little or no access to mental health services, including in areas where access to Medicare-subsidised mental health services is low. As a consequence, it enables more people with diagnosable mild to moderate mental illness to access mental health services in rural and remote areas.

MHSRRA complements other programs such as the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative, the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program, the More Allied Health Services program, and the Rural Primary Health Services Program.

What it achieves

A major objective of the program is to provide local solutions to local problems.

It addresses workforce shortage issues by providing flexible employment and service delivery models suited to local needs and conditions. This includes flexibility to accommodate the needs of geographically, culturally and linguistically diverse populations in rural and remote areas of Australia.

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