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Mental health bursaries awarded to students

Date - 8 April 2020

Working with the University of Queensland Advancement Team, SQRH has partnered with Allen’s Philanthropic to award five mental health bursaries to students who completed rural placements in Toowoomba.

Allen’s is a leading international law firm and has a long history of philanthropic efforts. Allen’s philosophy is to work with inspirational organisations to support the wider community.

SQRH Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus said bursaries are an important support for students which in turn is an integral part of the work of SQRH.

“If we are to increase the number of students who choose to ‘go rural’ we need to provide the environment and processes to give them every opportunity to fulfill that aim.

“Students who have part-time or casual employment in metropolitan areas need to take time off for rural placement opportunities so having a bursary can assist with living expenses.

“We’re grateful to Allen’s for providing these bursaries – their support means that students gain experience of rural practice and may choose to take a rural health career on graduation,” he said.

The five students awarded bursaries:

  • Kirsten Harm - Social Work (placement at Toowoomba Community Care Unit)
  • Harriet Barrenger - Social Work (placement at Acute Mental Health Unit Community Team)
  • Elyse McKechnie – Occupational Therapy (placement at Chinchilla Hospital mental health team)
  • Caitlin Chambers – Speech Pathology (placement at Child, Youth Mental
    Health Service)
  • Chelsea Blencowe – Speech Pathology (placement at Child, Youth Mental
    Health Service)

As part of the bursary presentation event, student Chelsea Blencowe spoke about her rural placement:

“I have realised that in rural health and mental health you are not simply a sole clinician, but you are part of a supportive and connected village. As a health professional in rural mental health, we have the great opportunity to provide improved access to health care to those who are isolated due to location, family business and association, and those who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. I witnessed multiple breakthroughs with children and families from all walks of life, shedding light and providing understanding to those who could not comprehend why their child was behaving and communicating the way they were, or how to cope with such difficulties. My placement experience was extremely humbling and rewarding”.

Allens Mental Health Placement Bursary presentation Nov 2019 students with educators2
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