Wellness in Tough Times

The Rural Recovery Support Service was established by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and funded by Resilience NSW to provide assistance to rural landholders and primary producers who have been impacted by the recent bushfires. This service employs Recovery Officers, who are a single point of contact for your recovery needs, providing information and referrals to support your recovery journey. Following a presentation from the Wellness in Tough Times team from the University of Nebraska, “Tailgate4Mates” was developed as a rapid-deployment, low-intensity program to increase awareness and access to mental health services in bushfire-impacted communities. A wallet card modelled on the card developed by the Wellness in Tough Times team was created to be distributed at “Tailgate4Mates” events. Basic equipment of a portable BBQ, cooler, chairs, and shade structures were purchased. Equipment cost $1,000 and the food and drinks for an event are budgeted at $100 to $150.

The aims of “Tailgate4Mates” were the following:

 Normalise accessing mental health services in bushfire-impacted areas through rapid, low- intensity client interactions.

 Get mental health contact numbers in wallets and purses.

 Increase probability that contact numbers will be shared with people at a time they need them.

 Increased people’s access to mental health service at an earlier stage.

In 2021, many areas of northern NSW were also impacted by flooding. “Tailgate4Mates” will also be implemented to engage with flood-impacted communities.

“Tailgate4Mates” is a quick way to reach out to small groups in a very cost-effective way. With no need for a venue, contact can be made with clients at a location very close to where they live. The


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