Degree Name

Master of Science


Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences


Due to distance, geography, rural culture and smaller populations it is not possible for urban service models to be effectively transferred to rural districts. A review of the literature shows that these characteristics must be considered when developing a rural service. Comparison of the results of a needs survey with information available from the CRISP database of the Cooma Mental Health Team and population data, confirms the impact of distance on service provision and accessibility, and the importance of small rural hospitals to extension of services across distances. Depression emerged as the predominant presenting problem identified by staff and clients. Consistent differences in the results between male and female clients suggest differing needs. The survey also supports evidence in the literature that staff and clients differ on their view of presenting problems and the importance of different services. Results showed that clients considered counselling and information were the most important services, and also rated them lower in terms of satisfaction. The business hours availability of the mental health service was rated the poorest of all aspects of the service.