Advocacy for rural Australians: PACFA joins National Rural Health Alliance

01 March 2023

The National Rural Health Alliance is a key advocacy voice with strong political connections which strives to achieve equitable health outcomes for rural, regional and remote communities.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey analysed by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, found that mental and behavioural conditions are highest in inner regional Australia. The rate of death by suicide in very remote areas is more than twice that of major cities.

Read ‘Mental health in rural Australia’ in the National Rural Health Alliance publication Partyline.

In August 2022, PACFA CEO Johanna de Wever told the Rural Health Conference that while demand for mental health services had peaked as a result of the Covid pandemic and lockdowns, counsellors and psychotherapists were under-utilised. This was despite the fact that there are more counsellors and psychotherapists in regional and rural areas than psychologists or psychiatrists.

A 2020 counselling and psychotherapy workforce survey found that over 30% were based in remote and rural areas compared with psychologists (17%) and psychiatrists (16%).

Membership of the alliance will mean PACFA is represented on the organisation’s Council, with the opportunity to have input into the alliance’s policy work and views.