Tele-social work and mental health in rural and remote communities in Australia
- BRYANT Lia, et al
- Journal article citation:
- International Social Work, 61(1), 2018, pp.143-155.
Rural and remote communities often have complex and diverse mental health needs and inadequate mental health services and infrastructure. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide an array of potentially innovative and cost-effective means for connecting rural and remote communities to specialist mental health practitioners, services, and supports, irrespective of physical location. However, despite this potential, a review of Australian and international literature reveals that ICT has not attained widespread uptake into social work practice or implementation in rural communities. This article reviews the social work literature on ICT, draws on research on tele-psychology and tele-education, and provides suggestions on how to enhance engagement with ICT by social workers to implement and provide mental health services and supports tailored to community values, needs, and preferences that are commensurate with the values of the social work profession. (Edited publisher abstract)