Using a delphi process to extend a rural mental health workforce recruitment initiative

Willems, Julie, Sutton, Keith and Maybery, Darryl 2015, Using a delphi process to extend a rural mental health workforce recruitment initiative, Journal of mental health training, education and practice, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 91-100, doi: 10.1108/JMHTEP-10-2014-0033.

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Title Using a delphi process to extend a rural mental health workforce recruitment initiative
Author(s) Willems, JulieORCID iD for Willems, Julie
Sutton, Keith
Maybery, Darryl
Journal name Journal of mental health training, education and practice
Volume number 10
Issue number 2
Start page 91
End page 100
Total pages 10
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, Eng.
Publication date 2015-11-05
ISSN 1755-6228
Keyword(s) recruitment
mental health
social media
blended learning
Delphi Study
rural workforce
Summary Purpose – The Gippsland Mental Health Vacation School program has been shown to positively change student participants’ interest and attitudes to living and working in a rural area. A range of factors are impacting on the future viability of the initiative including: limitations on the number of student participants, the reusability of content, staffing, time pressures, a dwindling funding base, and a drop-off in interest in living and working in a rural setting. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – A three-phase Delphi Study was employed to engage with expert knowledge of the program’s key stakeholder groups (student participants and service provider staff) in order to inform the initial steps of shifting the program toward a blended model, distributed across space and time. Findings – The results suggest that: first, the current mode of delivery, a week-long intensive face-to-face format, should be transitioned to a more sustainable blended learning approach that includes both on-line content and an in situ component; and second, trailing the use of social media as a mechanism to maintain student interest in rural mental health work following the vacation school. Originality/value – This study highlights how the transition to a sustainable approach to the delivery of a novel rural mental health workforce recruitment strategy was informed through a three-phase Delphi Study that involved the key stakeholders (groups of student participants and service provider staff). The study has important implications for addressing the shortage of mental health practitioners in rural areas. It will and be of interest to educators, administrators, researchers and bureaucrats.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/JMHTEP-10-2014-0033
Field of Research 111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Emerald Group Publishing
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
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