What interventions best support the health and wellbeing needs of rural populations experiencing natural disasters?

START June, 2020
END December, 2020
VALUE $10,000
PROJECT TEAM Professor Nicholas Goodwin, Dr Hazel Dalton, Suzanne Lewis, Grace Prael
CONTACT Professor Nick Goodwin
PARTNERS Central Coast LHD, Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, Medical Journal of Australia, Spinifex Network, University of Newcastle

This rapid review sought to explore and evaluate health and/or social care interventions delivered to rural and remote communities experiencing natural disasters. It concluded that continuous support for people’s health and wellbeing through community-based and integrated services was required to deal with the cumulative and long-term impact of natural disasters.

The report was part of a commissioned series of reviews by the SPINIFEX Network focusing on priority health issues for rural Australians published in a special issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.

The evidence review found that the cumulative and long-term impact of natural disasters, such as drought and flood, required a continuous and long-term response to supporting people’s health and wellbeing. Specifically, the review uncovered a wider need to respond to the complexity of needs that people experience in the face of ‘rural adversity’. The review was published in the Medical Journal of Australia in December 2020 as part of a set of commissioned papers focusing on the health and wellbeing of rural communities.