Study to identify what helps rural mothers manage mental health difficulties
A Monash University study is looking for participants to find out what factors contribute to helping rural women with children manage mental health difficulties and get better.
Researcher and social worker, Rochelle Hine, said that the study aims to contribute to changes in support services so they harness successful factors.
"Parenting is a tough job for anyone, especially if you've experienced mental health difficulties as well," said Ms Hine.
"Nearly one in four Victorian children live with a parent who has experienced mental health difficulties. And, while women in rural areas can face particular challenges, they may also have strong social connections that help them manage.
"We'd like to hear from mothers in the Ballarat and Warrnambool districts about what has helped them manage mental health difficulties whether that's personal strategies or social networks and connections."
Ms Hine hopes that the outcome of the study will be changes in mental health and community services to support factors shown to be effective.
"If we can identify the strategies and social support mechanisms that women use to manage mental health difficulties and their parenting role, community and family services can promote those factors to support women to get better," said Ms Hines.
A social worker with many years' experience in the mental health field, and a mother of four herself, Ms Hines has a keen interest in research that will have practical outcomes for women, especially those in rural areas.
"I have lived and worked in rural Victoria for the past 15 years, so I'm aware of the challenges facing both women and support services in that setting.
"I hope women with children will share their experiences so other women in similar situations will benefit from what we learn," said Ms Hines.
The confidentiality of participants is guaranteed and no identifiable information will be published. A small thanks in the form of a shopping voucher will be given to all participants.