January 2019. Wheeler S, Zuo A, Xu Y, Grafton Q.
The NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package includes $6.3M for health support and counselling. This review will contribute to informing intervention target points for current and future support. The researchers identified five main ways in which drought can lead to worsening mental health, and socioeconomic and demographic factors which increase the likelihood of drought having a more severe impact on mental health. Few studies were found which provided information on mental health programs in drought-affected communities with the strongest evidence found for psychological treatment programs; mental health outreach and care coordination; online and telephone support; health literacy programs; mental health first aid and training support; and other associated strategies. The researchers provide recommendations for ways that policy mitigants can reduce distress and suicide in drought-affected communities with an emphasis on coordinated and integrated policy.
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