The health needs of rural communities have been increasingly recognised as an area of concern, particularly due to the lack of accessible and available mental health and social services. High levels of need for psychological intervention have been identified, however only recently have strategies concerning rural psychological services been specifically flagged to receive funding (the 45 million allocated to rural allied health).
A relatively small number of projects funded by the Commonwealth Government’s Rural Health Support, Education and Training (RHSET) scheme have begun to explore mechanisms to increase psychological services in the bush. These preliminary efforts have informed the present proposal, which is aimed at tackling rural psychological workforce issues at multiple points along the professional career chain, from the recruitment of students through to the retention, development and career diversification of psychologists in rural and remote locations. In this process, it is held that this will synergistically require the development of a stronger knowledge base concerning a variety of aspects of rural psychology and rural psychological practice in Australia.