Mental health support needs to be better targetedSally Bryant, Tuesday March 4, 2014 - 12:01 EDT
More than $10 million has been allocated to mental health support as part of the federal drought assistance package, but details are still sketchy about what services will be provided.
Charles Sturt University lecturer in sociology, Dr Merrilyn Crichton, says previous mental health programs for rural patients have been at best mixed and often badly targeted.
She says Australia does not have a good record in helping rural communities who are stressed and struggling during severe crises.
"One of the scary things that happened in the last drought was that the mental health services were provided way too late.
"And we know, the research has told us for years now that at the beginning of a crisis people will come together, pull together and they'll cope.
"But then, after a little while, nobody's really coping."
© ABC 2014
More breaking news
They may be far from home, but a group of Americans have gathered in Western Australia's Pilbara region to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Another hot day is making its mark across eastern NSW as northwesterly winds ahead of a trough drag a hot airmass from Australia's interior towards the coast.
Newcastle locals hoping for a morning swim ahead of a sweltering day have been left disappointed, with vandals emptying the city's ocean baths.