CRRMH research related to bushfire support and recovery

The CRRMH was active in research about adversity and resilience in times of natural disaster, including bushfires.

The research included the ongoing evaluation of the role and function of the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), which matured over time from its original form as the Drought Mental Health Assistance Program [1, 2]. A key role for RAMHP coordinators was to participate in disaster recovery responses, with an acknowledged ongoing local role in mental health support well beyond the crisis period as described in the program logic model [3].

We evaluated community outreach models which support bushfire recovery efforts, both in the Blue Mountains [4, 5] and Warrumbungle [6] areas from fires in 2013.

CRRMH was actively engaged in considering how best to support rural and remote communities to stay well ( Community Wellbeing Collaboratives) and to improve the mental health and wellbeing outcomes for rural and remote communities ( Orange Declaration on rural and remote mental health). This work has been built on a foundation of understanding mental health and wellbeing in rural communities ( Australian Rural Mental Health Study).

Related Publications:

1. Tonna, A, Kelly, B, Crockett, J, Greig, J, Buss, R, Roberts, R, Wright, M (2009) Improving The Mental Health Of Drought-Affected Communities: An Australian Model. Rural Society; 19(4): 296-305. DOI: 10.5172/rsj.351.19.4.296.
2. Hart, CR, Berry, HL, Tonna, AM (2011) Improving the mental health of rural New South Wales communities facing drought and other adversities. Aust J Rural Health; 19(5): 231-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2011.01225.x.
3. Maddox, S, Read, DMY, Powell, NN, Caton, TJ, Dalton, HE, Perkins, DA, (2019) Reorientation of the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program: the value of a program logic model. Rural Remote Health; 19(3): 5217. DOI: 10.22605/rrh5217.
4. Rich, J, Booth, A, Rowlands, A, Redd, P (2016) Bushfire support services and the need for evaluation: the 2013 Blue Mountains experience. Australian Journal of Emergency Management; 31(1): 8-12.
5. Rich, J, Booth, A, Reddy, P,Rowlands, A. (2014) The Step by Step Bushfire Support Service Qualitative Evaluation Report. Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, University of Newcastle, Australia. p 71.
6. Coombe, J, Rich, J, Booth, A, Rowlands, A, Mackenzie, L, Reddy, P (2015) Supporting Rural Australian Communities after Disaster: the Warrumbungle Bushfire Support Coordination Service. PLOS Current Disasters; 7. DOI: 10.1371/currents.dis.6a4ee241c389755ad6f6f1c8688c0fb5.

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