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Open AccessArticle

What Is Rural Adversity, How Does It Affect Wellbeing and What Are the Implications for Action?

1
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, University of Newcastle, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia
2
Social Innovation Research Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia
3
School of Rural Health, University of Sydney, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia
4
School of Nursing, Faculty of Health and Social Development, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7, Canada
5
Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Acton, ACT 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197205
Received: 31 August 2020 / Revised: 29 September 2020 / Accepted: 29 September 2020 / Published: 1 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Determinants of Mental Health)
A growing body of literature recognises the profound impact of adversity on mental health outcomes for people living in rural and remote areas. With the cumulative effects of persistent drought, record-breaking bushfires, limited access to quality health services, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing economic and social challenges, there is much to understand about the impact of adversity on mental health and wellbeing in rural populations. In this conceptual paper, we aim to review and adapt our existing understanding of rural adversity. We undertook a wide-ranging review of the literature, sought insights from multiple disciplines and critically developed our findings with an expert disciplinary group from across Australia. We propose that rural adversity be understood using a rural ecosystem lens to develop greater clarity around the dimensions and experiences of adversity, and to help identify the opportunities for interventions. We put forward a dynamic conceptual model of the impact of rural adversity on mental health and wellbeing, and close with a discussion of the implications for policy and practice. Whilst this paper has been written from an Australian perspective, it has implications for rural communities internationally. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural adversity; rural mental health; rural communities; community wellbeing; social determinants; rurality; intersectionality; rural theory rural adversity; rural mental health; rural communities; community wellbeing; social determinants; rurality; intersectionality; rural theory
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Lawrence-Bourne, J.; Dalton, H.; Perkins, D.; Farmer, J.; Luscombe, G.; Oelke, N.; Bagheri, N. What Is Rural Adversity, How Does It Affect Wellbeing and What Are the Implications for Action? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7205.

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