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Who can call the Bush Support Line?
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.
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.
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.