Women with disabilities are at increased risk of interpersonal violence compared to women without disabilities. Little is known, however, about women with disabilities’ experience accessing and participating in counseling and other mental health services during and following their victimization, particularly when living in a rural setting. This study involved qualitative interviews with 33 women with diverse disabilities who experienced interpersonal violence in rural communities. Researchers used thematic content analysis to identify three key themes from the findings: (a) experiences learning about mental health service options, (b) challenges to finding an appropriate “fit” and therapy approach, and (c) access barriers to mental health services. Participants emphasized the need for provider training specific to disability, the inclusion of people with disabilities more prominently in the mental health workforce, and the importance of advancements in accessible telemental health. We discuss implications for improving mental health services.
- cultural competencies