Mental health guide - When the cowpat hits the windmill

Mental health guide: When the cowpat hits the windmill

The NRHSN’s new, improved mental health guide is here!

‘When the Cowpat Hits the Windmill’ is written by students for students and was last updated in February 2020.

This special publication focuses on how to stay mentally fit while on placement or working rurally. It contains tips on ways to maintain good mental health, how to adjust to life in a new town and a helpful checklist when preparing to go on placement. There is also a comprehensive list of contacts for national helplines and university support services.


We thank all our stakeholders who gave feedback and contributed to this revised version of When the Cowpat Hits the Windmill, particularly Beyond Blue, the Australian Rural Health Education Network, the Federation of Rural Australian Medical Educators, CRANAplus and Nurse and Midwife Support. We very much appreciate your help and support in making this resource as useful as it can be for students and health professionals.


Download a copy of When the Cowpat Hit the Windmill or look through the sections of the guide check out the table of contents below.


Table of contents

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is always important

Section 1: Keeping track of your mental health - look, listen, act 

Section 2: Adapting to your new town and your position within it               

Section 3: Ways to maintain good mental health 

Section 4: Troubleshooting      

Section 5: Student’s stories         

Section 6: Health professional’s stories  

Section 7: Preparing for your new role or placement        

Section 8: National helplines and mental health services 

Section 9: State and territory help lines and mental health services        

Section 10: University support services