Children in rural counties of the United States often have little to no access to behavioral, rehabilitation, and clinical mental health counseling services. The Counseling Department within Mercer University is currently working with the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center to utilize telemental health technology as a way to provide behavioral health services to children in a Georgia rural county school system using counselors-in-training. In this presentation, we will identify the consequences of limited access to mental health services in rural areas, particularly for children. We also will summarize clinical counseling literature related to providing counseling through telehealth and consider the challenges inherent in developing services in rural areas. Finally, we will discuss the steps necessary to build a telemental health counseling program that utilizes graduate-level students to address children’s mental rehabilitation needs.
Identify the consequences of having limited to no access to mental health in rural areas, particularly for children
Summarize clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling literature related to providing counseling through telehealth
Acquire and utilize the knowledge necessary to build a telemental health counseling program to address children’s mental rehabilitation needs.