In 2008, the population of Australia was estimated at just over 21 million (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007). This creates particular challenges for Australia in delivering comprehensive programs across very large geographical areas with populations concentrating in towns around the coastline and small rural populations across the rest of the country. To put it into perspective, one of the rural Area Health Services (AHSs) of the State of New South Wales (NSW) is roughly the size of Germany and has a population of just over 305,000. While most Australians enjoy a reasonable standard of living, there are pockets of disadvantage, with the Indigenous population experiencing health and education standards well below the average population. Australians, like populations from most other developed countries around the world, are showing increasing levels of obesity, diabetes, and mental health problems.
KeywordsMental Health Mental Health Service Mental Health Problem Mental Health Issue School Counselor
The author would like to thank Beverley Raphael, Former Director of the Centre for Mental Health, NSW Health, for having the vision to commence the initiative.
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