Talking about Rural Mental Health

Chatting about mental health in the outback 

Through supporting Outback Futures, Rural Doctors Foundation is working to reduce mental health issues in rural communities. Outback Future’s HEAD YAKKA program is an initiative for communities in the Barcaldine region. The program equips rural people with  skills to talk about and take care of their mental health.

Outback Futures facilitates round tables and community forums. Equipping communities to talk about and take care of their mental health. Helping them to develop common purpose, conversations, and activities. In order to support and promote mental health and wellbeing.


Outback Futures is committed to tackling mental health issues in rural communities through this approach. They want local communities to be able to take the HEAD YAKKA concept on board and ultimately do it themselves. Their ultimate goal is for people to realise when they need help and feel comfortable getting it. The campaign aims to make it second nature for people to take care of their mental health. In much the same way as the iconic ’80s Slip Slop Slap campaign normalised sun safety.

“HEAD YAKKA is about creating a community culture of people caring for themselves and for others through a community-owned and driven process of long-term change.”

Brent Sweeney
CEO - Outback Futures

HEAD YAKKA and Outback Futures are aiming to develop models of care that suit the bush way of life. Instead of trying to bring urban models of care into country communities. In order to achieve this, they are educating health and service providers. And also facilitating ways for them to better interact with rural community members.

Help us support these important programs in rural and remote communities 

The ongoing impacts of this rural mental health initiative are positive. And they are only possible thanks to those who generously support the work of Rural Doctors Foundation. Together, we are saving lives.