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
Authorities are growing frustrated with people continuing to drive across fast-moving creek crossings, as hundreds of millimetres of rain swells river catchments across WA's north.
A national scientific agency says Queensland's UV index so far this summer is higher than in previous years.
Residents have described chaotic scenes in the streets of Mudgee as the town was battered by damaging winds today.