Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

D. Kim Openshaw

Abstract

In recent years advances in technology have begun to permeate the everyday lives of citizens in the United States. Technology has affected the way people send and receive information, communication, and entertainment. The world is more connected today than at any other time in history. However, despite this connectivity, there are still rural populations in the United States that remain underserved and disconnected in many areas, including mental health services. This study seeks to understand the feasibility of serving the mental health needs of rural residents through a method of delivery called technology-assisted intervention (TAI). This study polled referral sources, service providers, service facilities, state and professional organizations' rules and regulations, and insurance reimbursement as they pertain to the delivery of mental health services through TAI. The results of this study suggest that there would be a referral base from the sources polled, interest from the service providers, and a willingness to provide space from service facilities. State laws and professional organizations that mental health professionals belong to did not identify any ethical issues that would be associated with TAI, and reimbursement from insurance companies was also discovered to be accessible. Suggestions and recommendations for further research into the establishment of rural mental health and TAI were also discussed.

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