Journal of Rural and Community Development
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 Journal of Rural and Community Development > Vol. 7, No. 3 (2012) open journal systems 

Community Input and Rural Mental Health Planning Listening to the Voices of Rural Manitobans: Using Community Input to Inform Mental Health Planning at the Regional Level

Karen Grace Dyck, University of Manitoba
Melissa Tiessen, Canadian Psychological Association

Clients of mental health services in rural and northern areas of Canada encounter a myriad of challenges in accessing high quality services. These challenges include stigma and confidentiality concerns, limited resources, transportation barriers, and heightened rates of professional turnover. Fortunately there are some promising and innovative approaches (e.g., computer-based treatment, internet discussion groups, group-based programming, telehealth, telephone counseling, stepped care, collaborative mental health care) that may prove useful at addressing some of these challenges. Nonetheless, these resources must be accessed by clients in order to be effective. The current study used mail-out surveys to gather information from over 1600 residents in two large rural Manitoba health regions regarding their preferences for (1) accessing mental health information (e.g., searching the internet, reading books, accessing information from various professionals) and (2) treatment delivery options (e.g., group-based services, internet discussion groups, computer-based treatment, telephone counseling), as well as (3) perceived barriers (e.g., stigma, confidentiality, transportation) and facilitators to accessing treatment. These data are presented within the context of informing regional mental health policy with respect to such issues as allocation of mental health funding, adoption of an effective mental health resource development plan, and adoption of an effective mode of mental health care. Keywords: mental health services, regional mental health policy, accessing mental health information, treatment delivery options

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is published with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada)

Journal of Rural and Community Development. ISSN: 1712-8277