Rural E-Mental Health: Models That Enhance Access, Service Delivery, and Integration of Care

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2010
Project completed:
December 2013
Viewing rural e-mental health programs in terms of their clinical functions (direct delivery of mental health services; support services for mental health and primary care providers; and care coordination) we will examine how different models have been used and their impact on access, service delivery, and integration in rural areas. Questions include:
  • In what organizational and clinical settings have these models been used? What services are provided and which populations served?;
  • How have these models been developed and, financed? How are workforce, licensing, reimbursement, capital investment, and maintenance addressed?;
  • Can models be sustained after grant funding (e.g., business case)?;
  • What impact have these models had on access, service delivery, and integration? Do they substitute for, complement, or enhance other services?;
  • What value do models add to other initiatives?
To identify model programs, we will review the directories of grantees for the Rural Health Outreach, Rural Network, and Office for Advancement of Telehealth Grant Programs and convene a group of rural e-mental health experts. Programs will be sent a brief screening survey asking what services are provided, geographic areas and populations served, and how long their programs have been in place. We will select a sample of 24-30 programs operational for at least 18 months for a telephone interview. A Research & Policy Brief and a monograph on Rural E-Mental Health Model Programs will be produced presenting our findings, including supporting best and promising practices.


  • Telemental Health in Today's Rural Health System
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2013
    This policy brief describes the organizational setting, services provided, and staff used in 53 telemental rural health programs. It also outlines the opportunities and challenges for telemental health in the rural health system.