Our Marketing and Communications Specialist has a rural background and is very familiar with life on the land and the challenges that come with it.

Millie joined the team earlier this year and is enjoying a role that is fulfilling and making a difference in people’s lives. We sat down with Millie to get to know her a bit more.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you fit into the RRMH team?

I am the Marketing and Communications Specialist here at Rural and Remote Mental Health. I am new to the team and am gradually finding my way with the brand and recognising new strategies to help us grow. I look after some external communications, writing industry-relevant stories, social media strategy and collaborations or partnerships with other organisations. My role is quite broad, which is awesome as I get to be a part of so much.

Describe your passion for the cause and the remote areas RRMH serves, how has a mental illness or mental health impacted these areas?

For the past 6 years, my career has been in the fashion and beauty industries. It was time for a change as I wanted to be a part of something with depth, something that was truly making a difference in people’s lives. My job with RRMH is fulfilling and I’m so grateful to have found myself on this team. I am from a remote cattle station in South West Queensland, so I have direct experience with mental illness or mental struggles that come with life on the land. Through my father and my brothers, I’ve witnessed the emotional turbulence and stress that comes with droughts, floods and generally being at mercy of the weather. So, it’s an area that is close to my heart. My passion for this cause predominantly comes from my background and determination to help those living in rural communities, they don’t get enough support and we’re here to change that.

What do you think that RRMH delivers that other organisations don’t? What are the points of difference?

We put a very strong emphasis on the cultural competence of our programs, they are tailored to be practical and community relevant. This makes them relatable, a less daunting conversation to be a part of, and inspiring. Our programs are also usually hosted by community members, they aren’t strangers from the big city who may have come out on the back of a corporate plan and not really understand the area or the people that live there.

Do you have goals for the organisation as the year moves on?

A key goal for the organisation is to broaden our reach, there are so many communities that are yet to reap the benefits of our programs. Ideally, we would increase our roster of workshop presenters and trainers, although this requires more funding and resources. We are always encouraging anyone interested to get in touch, don’t be scared, we’re a welcoming bunch and you’ll be doing something so brave and positive for your community. COVID threw a huge spanner in the works, we simply couldn’t travel across the country, so we are currently working on an exciting project that will allow us to reach anyone, anywhere…stay tuned!

What are some threats to the delivery of workshops and how can people help?

Like many charities, we rely on donations and sponsorships with corporate partners. I always like to stress that any amount can make a difference, even the smallest donations are helping us to do our job and make a difference in people’s lives. We also strongly encourage fundraising events to raise awareness of the charity. We get approached by workplaces and small communities that hold their own fundraisers and donate to us.

Any final comments or things you’d like people to know?

I think the most impactful and devastating thing to know is that the more remote you go, the higher the rates of suicide get. We are needing to get more professional help out to those living in rural and remote areas. Spread the message, remove the stigma and hopefully save lives. We are doing what we can to educate on self-help tips and techniques, how to recognise signs and symptoms, and when and how to get help from a medical professional. It’s all about looking out for each other.