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May 22, 2024

Bridging the Rural Behavioral Health Treatment Access Gap through Community Engagement and Technology

Rural communities face limited treatment options for mental health and substance use. Even when services are available, rural residents often experience challenges accessing them due to cost, transportation, and stigma. This presentation introduces an innovative approach for increasing access to behavioral health treatment in rural communities by partnering with existing, preferred community resources and using technology to support service delivery. The presenter will describe a technology-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy (T-CBT) for depression delivered by clergy in rural churches that was developed and tested in rural Michigan with promising results. Discussion will focus on developing mental health and substance use service delivery models that are acceptable, accessible, and sustainable in underserved rural settings.

Presenter: Addie Weaver, PhD; Associate Professor & Co-Director of the Treatment Innovation and Dissemination Research Group (TIDR), University of Michigan School of Social Work