“Living in the country means we all know each other and that can be very difficult, but there are lots of positives too.”
Living away from major cities and towns can have some real benefits, but can also come with its challenges. You can be impacted by reduced job and education opportunities, harsh weather events, and the effects of living and working in isolation. These can all affect your mental health and wellbeing - so it is useful to learn the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety so you can recognise problems and take action.
While people in rural and remote Australia experience mental health conditions at the same rate as those in the cities, they can experience challenges in accessing health care and other support services. Online and telephone support services can help to close this gap by providing immediate access to support. Specific support is available through mental health websites, including support for farmers and farming families.
If you are experiencing challenges with your mental health or worried about someone else who may be struggling, it is important to reach out to someone who can help.
Strengthening your overall mental health and wellbeing – including taking care of your health and connecting with others – is a positive thing that anyone can do, regardless of where you live. Have a look through the meaningful life section on this website for some ideas.
A closer look
Getting help, when help is far away
Men in rural areas are particularly at risk
Asking for help
Rural and remote Australians are happier
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have extra challenges
Challenges faced by young people
Living in the country when you have a mental health problem is easier because it's a small place and you have that informal network – supportive, understanding neighbours or friends. But the cons are that you don't have the choices that people have in the big city. You don't have the access to mental health services. And when things go wrong, it tends to be a whole lot less private.
When I developed my eating disorder, I was living in a small town. The local mental health service only had appointments during school hours and I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to miss school. I didn’t want to have to explain why I was late to my friends. And then someone had to drive me there – it was just all too hard.
I feel better when I have a plan. The community mental health workers gave me some numbers to ring in case of a crisis, and that makes me feel more settled. I know what to do if everything falls apart.