Consultation Liaison Child Psychiatry: A Valuable Resource for Rural Areas
Authors: Helen J. Stain and Brian Kelly
Abstract: The lack of specialist mental health care in rural areas necessitates an innovative approach to service delivery. Consultation liaison (CL) psychiatry has evolved to address the high rate of mental health problems presenting in primary health care for both adults and children. The CL model has particular application in rural areas where general health services (either primary or secondary level services) rather than specialist mental health services are more likely than urban areas to be the setting for treatment of children with mental health problems and their families. However traditional CL models deliver discrete services to specific age populations rather than encompassing the whole life span. This paper describes a model of CL child psychiatry designed to break down such barriers in order to meet the needs of children and adolescents in rural general health care settings. Recommendations are proposed to facilitate the roll out of the model to address much needed health services for smaller communities.