Rural and Remote Mental Health are thrilled to be supported by AstraZeneca for the development of our upcoming Rural Minds Youth program. AstraZeneca’s focus on social impact investment is evident through their partnership with Plan International and UNICEF, and realised through their Young Health Programme, a part of their greater sustainability commitment. Through this program, Rural & Remote Mental Health have received a commitment of funding to assist in the development of an extension of our already successful Rural Minds program, targeted to rural youth.

Julia Yeow, External Partnerships Manager, understands the value of Rural Minds Youth and its’ potential impact on young Australians and has worked closely with the RRMH team. The partnership with AstraZeneca will run across three years and the funding will allow for the identification of suitable regions and help to redesign our current Rural Minds materials to be age appropriate for the 12 -20 year age bracket. More young people are taking their lives every year and it worsens the more remote you go. Suicide is the leading cause of death amongst Australians aged 15-24, which is more than the deaths on our roads.

Our Rural Minds Youth Program will train and equip communities to become natural helpers to support the mental health of young people in rural and remote Australia. The evidence-based program will be backed by research, pilot phasing and experienced presenters to facilitate workshops in communities.

Julia explains that the decision to partner with us was based on the two organisations aligning on the importance of mental health support in rural and remote communities and that internal staff felt a strong connection with what RRMH represents.

“Part of our sustainability goals is for equity of access to healthcare, and our partnership with RRMH reflects our unwavering belief that all Australians, regardless of where they live, should have access to mental health support and education,” she said.

“We hope by partnering with local organisations we can build inclusive, community-based education and training programs that empower young people with knowledge and skills to help them make informed health choices for longer and healthier lives”.

Kylie Brophy-Pryor is the lead of AstraZeneca’s employee resources group for mental health awareness and support, Safe Space. Safe Space demonstrates a serious commitment to a mental health strategy and safe workplace for staff.

“Over the last 3 years, AZ has been committed to embedding our mental health program to break the stigma around mental health by raising awareness and offering educational opportunities for all employees. Our strategy focuses on enhancing personal resilience and building organisational resilience – to identify the risks associated with employees’ wellbeing, to develop practical strategies and introduce proactive, protective factors to minimise these risks,” said Kylie.

As part of the RRMH program development we shall be inviting schools and other youth focussed organisations to participate in our pilot phase. If you are interested in participating or would like to know more about other RRMH programs and how they could benefit your community, click here.