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Understanding barriers to mental health service utilization for adolescents in rural Australia

  • Year: 2007
  • Author: Aisbett, D L; Boyd, C P; Francis, K J; Newnham, Krystal; Newnham, Karyn
  • Journal Name: Rural and Remote Health
  • Journal Number: 7
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Victoria

There is little research into rural adolescent mental health in Australia and a lack of data regarding the experiences of rural adolescents who seek help for mental health problems. This study used a qualitative approach to data collection and analysis in order to assist understanding of the barriers to mental health service utilisation for young people in rural communities. A series of interviews was conducted with the study's three participants who were aged between 15 and 17. The participants were clients of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Horsham and Ararat in Victoria. Participants indicated that their use of mental health services was affected by lack of reliable transport, by lack of qualified professionals specialising in child and adolescent mental health, by long waiting lists and the lack of an after hours service, and by rural gossip networks and social visibility within rural communities.

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