Flying Doctor recognised at 2019 Make a Difference Awards

RFDS mental health award

Amanda Bedford of the RFDS receiving her award

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) of Western Australia has been recognised for its contribution to the provision of youth mental health services at the 2019 Youth Focus Make a Difference Awards.

RFDS Manager of Primary Health and Dental Clinics Amanda Bedford was presented the Community Partnership Award at Frasers Avenue, Kings Park on Wednesday, November 13.

In developing a new mental health service model, the RFDS established a unique partnership with Youth Focus in the last financial year to ensure youth living in remote and rural Western Australia have access to essential mental health services.

Through the partnership, Youth Focus, who already have a strong presence in the state's Midwest, Murchison and Goldfields regions, were able to employ an additional two clinicians to support Meekatharra and nearby Aboriginal communities three days a week.

An additional clinician was also employed in Wiluna three days a week with counsellors visiting remote communities Cue, Yalgoo and Yulga Jinna on a monthly basis.

Ms Bedford said the collaborative partnership with Youth Focus has proven efficient in strengthening the state's remote health services network.

“Here in Western Australia, our unique geography poses an ongoing challenge for health care service providers across the state to reach and treat patients in a sustainable fashion," she said.

“We are proud to work as part of a team with a not-for-profit health care service provider like Youth Focus to build strong and resilient communities and deliver on our mission to ensure health equity across the regions.”

In the last financial year, the Flying Doctor of Western Australia also partnered with not-for-profit primary health care provider Boab Health Services to ensure youth living in the Kimberley region of WA have access to essential mental health services.

RFDS in partnership with Boab Health Services supports weekly visits to Noonkanbah, fortnightly visits to Yakanarra and monthly visits to Djugerari, Kadjina and Koorabye.