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Who can call the Bush Support Line?

7 Apr 2023

The Bush Support Line is a space for all rural and remote health workers to talk. The line has been operating in various forms since 1997 and provides a non-judgemental, safe and anonymous space for health workers to discuss what is happening for them. This article answers your frequently asked questions about the Bush Support Line and debunks several myths in the process.

What is the Bush Sup­port Line?

The Bush Sup­port Line is a high-qual­i­ty, free, con­fi­den­tial tele­phone sup­port line. It oper­ates 24/7 and is staffed by expe­ri­enced psy­chol­o­gists with rur­al, remote and cross-cul­tur­al experience. 

Who is the Bush Sup­port Line for?

The Bush Sup­port Line is free and avail­able for the cur­rent and emerg­ing rur­al and remote health work­force and their fam­i­lies. This includes Nurs­es and Mid­wives, Allied Health Pro­fes­sion­als, Para­medics, Med­ical Offi­cers, Abo­rig­i­nal Health Workers/​Practitioners, and Aged Care work­ers. Interns or stu­dents who are enrolled in health dis­ci­plines in rur­al and remote areas, or are per­haps going on stu­dent place­ments in these areas, are also eli­gi­ble to use the service.

The imme­di­ate fam­i­lies of our rur­al and remote health work­force play an essen­tial role in the sup­port they pro­vide, so we’re here for them, too; they can call the Bush Sup­port Line at any time.

Do you need to be a CRANAplus member?

No, you don’t. The Bush Sup­port Line is not linked to CRANAplus Mem­ber­ship and is open to every­one work­ing in the rur­al and remote health sector.

Is it just for me to talk about work issues?

Not at all. We are here to sup­port you with both per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al issues.

Our psy­chol­o­gists under­stand the unique chal­lenges the rur­al and remote work­force and their fam­i­lies face. Some of the prob­lems we reg­u­lar­ly sup­port callers with include the following:

  • Feel­ing iso­lat­ed, lone­ly, detached, anx­ious, irri­ta­ble, sad, exhaust­ed, or overwhelmed
  • Man­ag­ing chal­leng­ing per­son­al or pro­fes­sion­al relationships
  • Adjust­ing to a new role, work­place, lifestyle, or community
  • Man­ag­ing unex­pect­ed per­son­al, pro­fes­sion­al, or com­mu­ni­ty challenges
  • Work­ing with chal­leng­ing per­son­al­i­ties or address­ing work­place bul­ly­ing or harassment
  • Improv­ing well­be­ing and work performance
  • Chal­lenges regard­ing work­place practices
  • Learn­ing how to recog­nise and improve low mood, anx­i­ety, or stress
  • Con­nect­ing with a pro­fes­sion­al to debrief, prob­lem-solve or decision-make.

Bush Sup­port Line (BSL) psy­chol­o­gists’ geo­graph­i­cal expe­ri­ence. Map data ©2022 Google, INEGI.

Is it a con­fi­den­tial service?

The Bush Sup­port Line is a safe place for peo­ple to dis­cuss their chal­lenges, and infor­ma­tion shared with the Bush Sup­port Line is man­aged under usu­al pri­va­cy and con­fi­den­tial­i­ty guide­lines, as would be expect­ed of any psy­chol­o­gy service. 

You may be asked for lim­it­ed per­son­al infor­ma­tion, such as your name, tele­phone num­ber, date of birth and cur­rent location. 

You can also choose to remain anony­mous, and we will con­tin­ue to pro­vide you sup­port with­in the reg­u­la­to­ry lim­i­ta­tions of the ser­vice. If you want more infor­ma­tion about how we respect and main­tain your pri­va­cy and con­fi­den­tial­i­ty, please see our Men­tal Health and Well­be­ing Pri­va­cy Pol­i­cy.

Do you need a refer­ral or to pre­pare before you call?

No, you will be sup­port­ed to share your expe­ri­ence and make sense of what is occur­ring, so it’s more impor­tant that you do not put the call off. The Bush Sup­port Line is avail­able 24 hours, 7 days a week. Even if you only have a few min­utes but are in need of sup­port, give us a call. You can ring back any­time when you need to.

What can you expect when you call?

One of our expe­ri­enced psy­chol­o­gists will answer your call, will briefly dis­cuss and obtain your con­sent, lis­ten to your rea­son for call­ing, explore what you would like to talk about and explain how they could help. You will be the focus of the con­ver­sa­tion, so you and your needs will guide the psychologist. 

Is it just a one-off’ thing?

You can call as a once-off or when­ev­er you need. Ses­sions are deliv­ered as sin­gle ses­sions under a brief inter­ven­tion model.

We have reg­u­lar callers who call as and when need­ed, for exam­ple, once or twice a month or every few months. Or peo­ple call sev­er­al times in a few weeks or over a few months when they need sup­port dur­ing more intense stress or a par­tic­u­lar per­son­al or pro­fes­sion­al challenge.

You may get a dif­fer­ent psy­chol­o­gist if you call more than once. How­ev­er, we make a dig­i­tal record of each call. By pro­vid­ing us with iden­ti­fy­ing details, our psy­chol­o­gists can find any notes from pre­vi­ous calls and famil­iarise them­selves with the gen­er­al out­line of your sto­ry if this is ben­e­fi­cial to any future calls.

Is it a cri­sis service?

The Bush Sup­port Line isn’t intend­ed as a cri­sis line. It can pro­vide tele­phone sup­port to you as a health or asso­ci­at­ed work­er and your fam­i­ly after trau­mat­ic events and incidents.

The Bush Sup­port Line does not con­nect to emer­gency ser­vices or oth­er ser­vices. If there is an imme­di­ate risk to safe­ty, con­tact the appro­pri­ate emer­gency ser­vice or cri­sis line.

13YARN (13 92 76)
pro­vides 24/7 cri­sis sup­port for Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Islander peoples.

Life­line Aus­tralia 13 11 14 is a nation­al char­i­ty pro­vid­ing all Aus­tralians expe­ri­enc­ing a per­son­al cri­sis with access to 24-hour cri­sis sup­port and sui­cide prevention.

How much will it cost to use the Bush Sup­port Line?

The Bush Sup­port Line is a free ser­vice. You will get high-qual­i­ty psy­cho­log­i­cal sup­port over the phone from wher­ev­er you are in Aus­tralia, and it will cost you noth­ing. Our team of psy­chol­o­gists under­stands the unique chal­lenges faced by the rur­al and remote health workforce. 

We are pas­sion­ate about and ded­i­cat­ed to pro­vid­ing this ser­vice to sup­port the most impor­tant per­son in your world: you. 

If you’re still a lit­tle unsure about the ser­vice we pro­vide or about your eli­gi­bil­i­ty to use the ser­vice, you can read our Ser­vice Char­ter or call the Bush Sup­port Line on 1800 805 391 and ask us any questions.