Frontier and Rural Children’s Mental Health Services: Identification of Strengths and Challenges in Western Kansas
Unmet mental health service needs for rural geographic areas have been established as a national priority by the President’s New Freedom Commission. The commission also recognized that certain needs are unique to rural areas. The commission’s 2003 report states that “Access to mental health care, attitudes toward mental illnesses, and cultural issues that influence whether people seek and receive care differ profoundly between rural and urban areas” (p. 51). According to the commission, these differences include income disparities, fewer providers, less access to care, and stigmatized beliefs about mental health issues in rural areas. (Authors)
This report is based on multiple data sources collected and analyzed between the fall of 2006 and summer of 2007. Specific methodology for each data collection effort is described below. The results from each data set were integrated to provide a fuller picture of the mental health service needs for children and adolescents in frontier and rural counties.
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