The prevalence of depression among rural women is nearly twice the national average, yet limited mental health services and extensive social barriers restrict access to needed treatment. We conducted key informant interviews with community health workers (CHWs) and diverse health care professionals who provide care to Appalachian women with depression to better understand the potential roles that CHWs may play to improve women’s treatment engagement. In the gap created by service disparities and social barriers, CHWs can offer a substantial contribution through improving recognition of depression; deepening rural women’s engagement within existing services; and offering sustained, culturally appropriate support. (Author abstract)
What role can community health workers play in connecting rural women with depression to the "de facto" mental health care system?
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