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A Review of Mental Health Approaches for Rural Communities: Complexities and Opportunities in the Canadian Context

Publication: Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
15 December 2015


Three mental health approaches with potential relevance to rural Canada were reviewed: telepsychiatry, integrated mental health models, and community-based approaches. These approaches have been evaluated in relation to their cost-effectiveness, comprehensiveness, client-centredness, cultural appropriateness, acceptability, feasibility and fidelity; criteria that may vary amidst rural contexts. Collaborative approaches to care, technologies fully integrated into local health systems, multi-sectoral capacity-building, and further engagement with informal social support networks may be particularly promising strategies in rural communities. More research is required to determine rural mental health pathways among diverse social groups, and further, to establish the acceptability of novel approaches in mental health.


Trois modèles de santé mentale qui pourraient être pertinents à la vie rurale au Canada ont été examinées: la télépsychiatrie, les modèles intégrées de la santé mentale, et les approches communautaires. L’évaluation a été basée sur les critères suivants: le rapport coût-efficacité, l'inclusivité des approches et leur centration sur le client, leur prise en compte de l'aspect culturel, leur réalisabilité, acceptabilité et fidélité. Ces critères sont variables en fonction des différents contextes ruraux. Les approches collaboratives et trans-sectorielles du soin, utilisant des technologies entièrement intégrées dans les systèmes de santé locaux et qui développent et renforcent un lien avec les réseaux de soutiens sociaux plus informels sont particulièrement prometteuses dans les communautés rurales. Plus de recherche sera cependant nécessaire pour déterminer les voies d'accès à la santé mentale en fonction des diverses populations et d’établir plus amplement l'acceptabilité de nouvelles approches dans le domaine de la santé mentale

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Published In

cover image Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Volume 35Number 1February 2016
Pages: 29 - 45


Version of record online: 15 December 2015

Key Words

  1. mental health
  2. community-based
  3. integrated mental health
  4. telepsychiatry
  5. rural
  6. capacity-building


  1. santé mentale
  2. approches communautaires
  3. contextes ruraux
  4. approches collaboratives et trans-sectorielles
  5. les modèles intégrées de la santé mentale
  6. la télépsychiatrie



C. Susana Caxaj [email protected]
University of British Columbia

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Cited by

1. Rural Perspectives on Suicide Prevention in Canada
2. Access to Mental Health Supports and Services: Perspectives of Young Women Living in Rural Nova Scotia (Canada)
3. Striving for Balance and Resilience: Ontario Farmers’ Perceptions of Mental Health

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