Introduction Given the increasing health burden associated with mental health conditions, governments in Australia at both state and national levels are concerned with reforming the delivery of services in ways that promote emotional wellbeing and prevent mental health problems. This is a particular challenge in rural Australia because of large geographical distances and unequal access to mental health services. These inequities in access mean there is a need for programs that promote the emotional wellbeing of young people. Such interventions, however, need to be informed by social and demographic circumstances because rural and remote areas have not previously had uniform access to these interventions and little is known about their effectiveness and viability with a rural cohort. This study modified and examined the impact of an emotional wellbeing program (the Resourceful Adolescent Program) on a rural cohort of young people, aged between 11 and 15, from three rural communities in western NSW. Methods A universal mental health promotion program was implemented with 380 students from four schools in three rural communities. The program was delivered to whole grades as part of the NSW Department of Education's Personal Development and Physical Health curriculum. Only those students returning signed consent forms participated in the research component of the study and a total of 149 young people were subsequently recruited to the study. The sample included 54 participants who identified as Aboriginal and 95 non-Aboriginal participants (75 females and 74 males). Prior to its implementation, the program was modified in collaboration with Aboriginal education and community representatives from three towns in western NSW. The process of modifying the Resourceful Adolescent Program (RAP-A) was informed by guidelines that had previously been developed for adapting the program with Indigenous communities (Shochet, Hoge, & Wurfl, 2004).
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Place of Publication||Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|