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Development of ACROSSnet - an Online Support System for Rural and Remote Suicide Prevention Workers and Health Professionals in Queensland, Australia

  • Year: 2005
  • Author: Penn, DL; Simpson, LE; Leggett, S; Hawgood, J; Krysinska, K; Wood, L; Yellowlees, P; de Leo, D; Edie, GJ
  • Editors: Wise, Marcus; Grain, Heather; Chu, Stephen
  • Journal Name: Proceedings. Brunswick East, Vic.: Health Informatics Society of Australia
  • Publisher: Health Informatics Society of Australia
  • Published Location: Brunswick East, Vic
  • ISBN: 0975101358
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Queensland

Advances in information technology and telecommunications may offer many potential benefits to Australia's under-served communities [1]. Communication and information technologies can reduce the barriers of distance and space that disadvantage rural areas, where the health status of residents is often worse than that of their urban counterparts [2]. ACROSSnet (Australians Creating Rural Online Support Systems) is a three year collaborative action research project that aims to design and develop an online support system that will assist rural communities in accessing information, education and support regarding suicide and its prevention, whilst considering the challenges of Internet speed, cost and availability that can impede the delivery of online services. The site provides three distinct levels of access, the first accessible by community members with two further levels of access for appropriately credentialed mental health workers. In creating this environment, the ACROSSnet team hopes that online communities of practice [3] [4] will develop, engaging participants of different ages, income and education levels, location, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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