Recently I was interviewed about MindsPlus supporting rural and remote communities and was asked, “Tell us the philosophy behind the business and why you set it up” which I thought I’d share with you too.
Having grown up in rural and remote communities in Australia, Africa and England I understand the pros and cons of living in small communities and I am passionate about supporting those areas. I have a background in psychology, research (mental health/drug and alcohol) and management of programs dedicated to recruiting, retaining and supporting medical practitioners and their families in rural and remote Australia.
From my personal and professional experiences I know how difficult it is for people living and working in rural and remote regions to access professional supports compared to those in urban areas. This is not only inequitable but also means those in rural and remote regions often cannot access prompt support when they need it, if at all, which leaves them vulnerable – the problem can escalate with undesirable consequences which may have been limited or avoided if they had received support earlier.
Acknowledging the inequity of services, potential consequences and the desire to support rural and remote communities is why I decided to set up MindsPlus.
Initially I personally provide a drive in drive out (DIDO) and a fly-in fly out (FIFO) service accompanied by videophone consultations to two rural communities in South Australia and continued to visit the same communities for many years. MindsPlus works towards encouraging other mental health clinicians to work in rural and remote areas and has three other psychologists regularly visiting four country towns, a Social Worker providing regular therapy by video-conferencing and we also provide telephone consultations. We have a positive psychology philosophy using a variety of therapeutic techniques to assist people to build on their strengths and thrive by enhancing their resilience to life’s inevitable demands.
Although we have a strong focus on supporting people in rural and remote communities, our telephone service also supports people living in cities who are unable to attend appointments personally, or who prefer a more discreet, prompt service.