Development of ACROSSnet: an online support system for rural and remote community suicide prevention workers in Queensland, Australia.
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Communication and information technologies can reduce the barriers of distance and space that disadvantage communities in Australia's underserved rural areas, where the health status of residents is often worse than that of their urban counterparts. ACROSSnet (Australians Creating Rural Online Support Systems) is a 3 year collaborative action research project that aims to design and develop an online support system that will assist rural communities in accessing information, education and support regarding suicide and its prevention, whilst considering the challenges of Internet speed, cost and availability that can impede the delivery of online services. The site provides three distinct levels of access: one level for community members, and two further levels for appropriately credentialled mental health workers. In creating this environment, the ACROSSnet team hopes that online communities of practice will develop, engaging participants of different ages, income and education levels, location, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Health Informatics Journal