Focus on mental health in rural communities

Kid smiling at camera with wide brim hat rural health charity


An initiative in the rural communities of the Barcaldine region is going from strength to strength. This is  thanks to funding support from Rural Doctors Foundation Grants for Good Health. This program focuses on normalising talking about mental health, and seeking help.

Head Yakka is a mental health program in partnership with Outback Futures and the Barcaldine Regional Council. It combines smarts (HEAD) and capacity for hard work (YAKKA) to bring about meaningful change.

The campaign aims to make it second nature for people to take care of their mental health. Hopefully, in much the same way the iconic ‘80s Slip Slop Slap campaign normalised sun safety.


With funding from Rural Doctors Foundation, Head Yakka is able to focus on working alongside communities in the Barcaldine region.  It is enabling a common purpose, encouraging conversation, and providing activities to promote mental health and wellbeing.

Head Yakka is also facilitating ways for health and service providers to better interact with rural community members.  It is about designing models for the bush way of life – not about bringing city models of care out to the country.


Head Yakka is continuing its strong work in the Barcaldine region to equip communities to talk about and take care of their mental health into the future.

With Rural Doctors Foundation Grants for Good Health funding, Outback Futures now has trained people on the ground working alongside communities.

Outback Futures want local communities to take their concept on board and ultimately do it by themselves. Their ultimate goal is for rural people to realise when they need help and be  comfortable asking for it.

Rural mental health initiative and others like it are only possible thanks to those generously supporting Rural Doctors Foundation.