Resilience or Risk? Exploring the Impact of Rurality on Youth Mental Health

Funding has been secured through the Lishman Health Foundation by Dr Sarah Youngson at RCSWA to research the impact of living in a rural area on the mental health of young people. The study seeks to explore the risk and protective factors of a rural address on youth mental health.

Risk factors for mental illness are magnified in rural communities, with stigma, lack of anonymity, and access to services being dominant factors. In contrast, a rural residence confers a number of protective factors which warrant further exploration. The strengthening of these factors has the potential to mitigate the risks of rurality on youth mental health.

The study will utilise qualitative methods, based on a phenomenological world view which will attempt to understand the lived experienced of young people in rural communities. The study will be guided by the principles of participatory action research, in which the group being researched – rural young people – will be actively involved in the research process (Baum, MacDougall, & Smith, 2006). Participatory Action Research (PAR) includes involving those most affected by the issue under investigation, being directly involved in the development of the inquiry process as well as the implementation of any actions that arise from the process (Crane & O’Regan, 2010).

South West Health Research Collaborative

The Lishman Health Foundation, in partnership with Rural Health West, St John of God Bunbury, Edith Cowan University, WA Country Health Service and WA Primary Health Alliance, initiated the South West Health Research Collaborative in 2019. The key objectives of the SWHRC are:

  • Form a collaborative South West regional community of health professionals, researchers, universities and research organisations to optimise the opportunity for health research in the South West region.
  • Identify current health research and translational health research activity in the South West.
  • Determine future health research and translational health research priorities relevant to, health practice, health outcomes and health professional development in the South West.
  • Grow health research and translational health research activity in the South West.
  • Develop strategies for research implementation and translational research projects.
  • Identify resources to support research.
  • Facilitate the South West Health Research Collaborative in guiding and directing research projects in accordance with identified health research needs and priorities.

The SWHRC will host the South West Health Research Forum on the 26 November 2020, bringing together health professionals, researchers, universities and research organisations to guide and direct future research projects in accordance with identified health research needs and priorities.

The South West Health Research Collaborative will also host a series of webinars.

Webinar 1: The ORCHID Study

South West Alcohol and Other Drug Study

A research study conducted in collaboration with The Rural Clinical School of WA and the Lishman Health Foundation is currently underway. The research aims to explore users’ experiences of accessing alcohol and other drug (AOD) services in the South West, and the impact of COVID-19 on service availability and accessibility. Telephone interviews were conducted with study participants who have AOD use problems living in the South West, regardless of whether they have accessed AOD services of not.

Recruitment for the study has now finished. The research team is currently analysing the data, with research findings due to be released later in 2020.

For further information on this study, please contact Associate Professor Mat Coleman on (08) 9842 0811.

 

Fellowship Program

Mental Health & Wellbeing in Augusta Margaret River

The Lishman Health Foundation has engaged the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health from the University of Newcastle to explore mental health and wellbeing approaches in Augusta Margaret River.

The Project Advisory Committee, established by the Lishman Health Foundation with representatives from across the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, have guided and supported this project. The consultation process has only been possible because of the commitment of people from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River to address mental health and wellbeing in their community. Their willingness to provide their views openly and frankly has provided a solid foundation for moving forward to promote mental health and wellbeing across the community. The Final Report is now available for the community to view. 

This report describes the results of a project to explore options for addressing mental health and wellbeing in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. The project was undertaken to identify the key issues and explore community views about mental health and wellbeing in the area. The project represents a commitment to address mental health and wellbeing in the area.

Mental Health and Wellbeing: Final Report

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

Mindfulness

Quality in End-of-Life Care

Methamphetamine and Alcohol Project

Autism in Rural Communities