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Our Research

The Centre’s research addresses three broad questions:

  • How can individuals, their families, and their communities stay mentally healthy?
  • How can mental health services be improved?
  • How can we understand and act to prevent rural suicide?

We continue to make an important contribution to building the evidence base in rural mental health research, through our work in the following studies and projects:

Australian Rural Mental Health Study (ARMHS)

This cohort study has investigated individual, family and community factors associated with the mental health of residents in rural communities across NSW. To date, 30 peer-reviewed research articles have increased our understanding of the experience of mental health in rural and remote communities and further analyses continue.

Click here for more information about ARMHS.

Integrated Care

As the Australian Collaborating Centre for the International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC Australia), the CRRMH promotes patient-centred rather than provider-focused care that integrates mental and physical concerns. Research projects in integrated care include an evaluation of the Mudgee integrated mental health care within primary health model, the evaluation of a mental health collaborative governance model on the Mid-North Coast of NSW, IMHpact MNC, and the evaluation of the Central Coast Integrated Care Program.

Rural mental health information and advice

The Centre works closely with rural local health districts, NSW Mental Health Branch and Primary Health Networks on projects regarding mental health service priorities, including models of integrated mental health care. The Centre provides advice on rural mental health to the NSW Mental Health Commission and the Health Minister.

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP)

Our major program RAMHP has undergone a change in focus to linking people to care.  Stemming from this has been a restructure in the program logic and also in the way information is collected. The program continues to be evaluated in 2017. We are particularly interested in ways to improve people accessing the care they need.

Stayin’ on Track

CRRMH researchers have contributed to the ‘Stayin’ on Track: Young Aboriginal Fathers Project’, which is led by Prof Richard Fletcher at the University of Newcastle Family Action Centre. This includes a literature review and paper. The ‘Stayin’ on Track: Young Aboriginal Fathers Project’ aims to support young Aboriginal men manage the life change of becoming a father. It is focused on the experiences of young Aboriginal dads in Moree, Tamworth and Newcastle.

More information about Stayin’ On Track is available at www.stayinontrack.com

We-Yarn Suicide Prevention Workshops

CRRMH researchers are working on the evaluation of the We-Yarn suicide prevention workshop for Aboriginal communities.

Act-Belong-Commit Community Wellbeing Program

Our research also seeks to learn from pilot projects, such as our Act-Belong-Commit Community Wellbeing Program, to enable their sustainability and potential launching of Act-Belong-Commit campaigns in other rural sites in NSW.

The Orange Aboriginal Medical Service Youth Access Project

The CRRMH is a collaborator in a study into the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS) Youth Access Project, along with OAMS and researchers from the University of Sydney and Western Sydney University. The project aims to improve access and service delivery within OAMS for Aboriginal young people by providing an evidence base to inform service level changes and the development of an OAMS Youth Program. Data collection for this project is currently underway.

The Step by Step Blue Mountains Bushfire Support Service Qualitative Evaluation

The Step By Step Bushfire Support Service (SBS) was established in response to the 2013 bush fires in the Blue Mountains NSW. In collaboration with the Ministry of Police, Emergency Services (MPES) and The University of Newcastle, the CRRMH undertook the evaluation of SBS to gain an understanding of how this service operated during the Blue Mountains bush fires in 2013 and how effective the service was to the people who used it.

A copy of the The Step by Step Blue Mountains Bushfire Support Service Qualitative Evaluation can be found by clicking here and research article “Bushfire support services and the need for evaluation: the 2013 Blue Mountains experience” can be found by clicking here.

Suicide Prevention

The GoodSpace Project (formerly known as Farm-Link) has trained 1000 individuals in an evidenced based suicide prevention skills workshop. The team have also developed and delivered a suicide prevention skills workshop appropriate to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – We Yarn. These workshops are subject to evaluation and ongoing development with the support of the research team.

Working Well: Mental Health and Mining

The CRRMH has collaborated on this RISA award winning research project and has assessed 1450 coal mine employees regarding access to care, understanding and experience of mental health concerns. This work has resulted in four peer reviewed papers and informed the national Mining Industry Blueprint for Mental Health and Wellbeing.


The Evaluation of the Warrumbungle Bushfire Support Coordination Service

The Warrumbungle Bushfire Support Coordination Service (BSCS) was designed to help affected individuals, families and communities recover from the Warrumbungle bushfires of January 2013. Recognising the rareness of evaluations undertaken on post-disaster services like the BSCS, the CRRMH and NSW Ministry for Police and Emergency Services have collaborated to conduct an evaluation.

The Evaluation of the Warrumbungle Bushfire Support Coordination Service Final Report is available by clicking here and research article “Supporting Rural Australian Communities after Disaster: the Warrumbungle Bushfire Support Coordination Service” can be found by clicking here

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