Delivering Tailored Wellbeing Support to Those Who Need It Most 

Living in remote Australia is both a blessing and a burden. No one understands this more than the dedicated Wellbeing Support officers at RFCS Gippsland. RFCS Gippsland is more than just an organisation, we are a trusted community support network – one that has been at your and your neighbours dining tables since 1986. 

RFCS Gippsland is a not for profit agency supporting rural and remote communities in south eastern Victoria with financial counselling, and more recently with wellbeing to help recover and manage through natural disasters and industry downturns. RFCS Gippsland developed a unique wellness program for farmers and their families. This tailored program provides critical health and wellbeing support leading the effort to address the individual needs of our clients, creating positive health outcomes and ways to overcome unique challenges faced within our remote and rural communities.  

Our success in delivering wellness to farming communities is due to the referral pathways and relationships with other support agencies that work alongside farmers; promoting and attending various training and social events to ensure connectedness of remote communities. Through these connections, farmers get to know us and learn about RFCS Gippsland from trusted sources and community members. So, when a farmer needs assistance with financial or personal wellbeing, they know where to find us. 

Many times, our team have encountered shortages of mental health services in their local rural area; often not able to take on new clients or have lengthy wait times for an appointment. Lack of access or waiting for an appointment often creates additional stress.  

Our program allows the team to spend time with farmers and their families in their home where they are comfortable. Being invited to the kitchen table, talking face to face, helps us connect with and get a deeper understanding our client’s situation. Our Wellbeing Support officers use behavioural activation models which moves away from cognitions and feelings to focus on a person’s behaviour and environment. When a person improves their habits, goals, actions, and living conditions, their overall wellbeing improves too. The majority of our clients first seek support due to financial distress, but often this is the symptom not the cause of their distress. 


Some of the ways we assist include: 

  • Connect or re-connect individuals with their communities. 
  • Access mainstream services such as My Aged Care. 
  • Provide connections to local resources for basic needs assistance. 
  • Referrals to other professional health services. 
  • Referrals for financial or legal assistance. 
  • Remind and encourage appropriate medical checks. 
  • Identify unhelpful habits and build new beneficial ones. 
  • Assist with identifying personal goals; providing mentoring support while working towards achieving them. 
  • And sometimes just being the safe and confidential person they can confide in. 

Our local GPs encourage clients to collaborate with our service to help in their recovery, and we have seen some fantastic results from this support and referral partnership. The client maintains regular appointments with their GPs to monitor their condition and progress as well as regular appointments with RFCS Gippsland. Our team helps clients keep on track with any health plans while equipping them with lifestyle strategies for managing wellbeing.  

We pride ourselves with the knowledge that our clients leave our wellness program feeling more confident in their ability to manage life’s stressors having gained skills to do so effectively. Client progress is monitored using a simple model, and this is regularly communicated to demonstrate improvement or areas of focus. We follow up our clients six months after exiting the program for ‘check in’, with the majority of clients managing stressors more effectively. Our clients at this point have often taken the opportunity to inform their peers of our service and the success they have had with our wellness program. 


Maybe you could join in their success too?  

RFCS Gippsland offer free and confidential assistance to help you get back on track with both personal wellbeing and financial wellbeing. RFCS Gippsland are deeply proud to be part of the Gippsland farming community and have been for over 35 years. 

RFCS Gippsland provides farmers and rural related businesses with a specialised team dedicated to financial and personal wellbeing. Our team is passionate about wellbeing and promotes the ‘Detect & Protect’ campaign: engaging farm service providers and communities on how to identify rural mental health concerns and what to do to help improve their situation.  

If you are struggling emotionally and financially (or know someone who is), protect them and yourself by referring to the free confidential services of RFCS Gippsland. Our specialised rural financial support team will work on improving your finances whilst a dedicated wellness support officer will focus on you. 

Call 1300 045 747 or visit to find out more.   

Written by RFCS Gippsland
Originally published on PARTYLINE 



1. Implement Innovative Client Engagement Approaches

2. Collaborate with Client Support Stakeholders