Newcastle research investigating the effect on mental well-being of isolation in rural and remote areas, has been showcased to the world.
A University of Newcastle research team and its Australian collaborators, led by Newcastle’s Professor Brian Kelly, are examining a number of mental health issues through a National Health and Medical Research Council-funded longitudinal mental health study.
Featured in the International Innovation publication, one of the major questions underpinning the team’s research is how to develop better connections between the individual, their community and health services that are widely dispersed and often relatively inaccessible.
Rural communities face a raft of factors that can increase the risk of mental health problems including loss of community infrastructure, lack of employment opportunities and exposure to environmental adversity.
“My hopes for the future are that mental health be truly considered a fundamental aspect of general health; that people with mental illness will have access to equivalent resources and care as those with other health problems; and that we overcome the artificial separation of mental health from other health services. This would mean that addressing mental health needs of patients and their families becomes part of every health professional’s business,” Professor Kelly said.
Professor Brian Kelly is an internationally-respected mental health authority at the University of Newcastle. He has a key interest in population mental health and rural health.alongside career-long clinical and research interests in the psychiatric aspects of palliative care, particularly within an oncology setting.
Professor Kelly researches in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute‘s (HMRI) Brain and Mental Health Program. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Local Health District and the community.
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