Acknowledging Rural Disadvantage in Mental Health

Views of Peer Workers

Louise Byrne, Brenda Happell, Kerry Reid-Searl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: The aim of this article was to present views and opinions of people employed to work from their personal experience of significant mental health challenges (peer workers). The specific focus was on their capacity to contribute meaningfully to mental health service provision and in rural areas and associated barriers. DESIGN AND METHODS: Grounded Theory was the methodology utilized. In-depth interviews were conducted with peer workers throughout Australia. FINDINGS: Participants described significant barriers to the provision of quality mental health services in rural and regional locations. The two main areas identified were the following: transport and distance, and lack of mental health staff and services. CONCLUSIONS: The identified barriers place limitations on the capacity of peer workers to maximize effectiveness in rural settings. Peer workers could potentially play an important role in overcoming shortages of staff and services and improving mental health service delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalPerspectives in Psychiatric Care
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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