Rural youngsters have limited access to mental health services, according to the Fit for Purpose report by youth mental health organisation Orygen, while many are experiencing events such as droughts and bushfires,
Evidence from health organisations including the Royal Flying Doctor Service suggested demand for mental health services had increased in these areas, the report said.
But fear of being stigmatised is another barrier preventing young people in regional areas from reaching out for help.
Rose, a young person from the city of Busselton in Western Australia, said there can be little or no knowledge of the available services.
“The stigma of ill mental health often seems heavier in rural and remote areas, making taking those first steps towards help even harder,” she said.
The report noted that GPs, nurse practitioners and Indigenous health workers needed better support in providing care to young people.
“For many young people in rural and remote Australia primary health professionals such as GPs are the only health providers they have access to,” Orygen executive director Patrick McGorry said.