Community Capacity and Teleconference Counseling in Rural Texas
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How can psychologists aid in addressing current disparities in accessibility to meet the mental health needs of rural areas? In this paper, we discuss an innovative partnership created between community leaders in a rural county and an APA-accredited doctoral training program and its mental health clinic at a regional Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to provide mental health services. We describe the efforts to build community capacity to develop the partnership and provide sustainable mental health services via teleconferencing to a remote site in a rural county. Also, to present initial evidence of the services' effectiveness in alleviating client distress, as well as meeting the expectations of referral sources and community stakeholders, we used the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), the SF-12v.2, and a qualitative community survey. We examined data from a maximum of 68 clients (M age = 40.5, SD = 14.1; 48 females and 20 males); the number of available client data varied by analysis. We found that clients showed significant decreases in depressive symptoms (M decrease = 5.88, SD = 7.16, p <001) and significant increases Mental Health Composite Scores (MCS; M increase = 11.39, SD = 7.94, p <005). Results from the community survey revealed encouraging results as well as areas for improvement. Implications of developing community capacity for sustainable psychological services in rural areas are discussed. © 2011 American Psychological Association.
author list (cited authors)
McCord, C. E., Elliott, T. R., Wendel, M. L., Brossart, D. F., Cano, M. A., Gonzalez, G. E., & Burdine, J. N.