University students are often perceived to have a privileged position in society and considered immune to ill-health and disability. There is growing evidence that a sizeable proportion experience poor physical health, and that the prevalence of psychological disorders is higher in university students than their community peers. This study examined the physical and mental health issues for first year Australian rural university students and their perception of access to available health and support services.
The present study adds to the limited literature of physical and mental health issues as well as barriers to service utilization by rural university students. It provides useful baseline data for the development of customised support programs at rural campuses. Future research using a longitudinal research design and multi-site studies are recommended to facilitate a deeper understanding of health issues affecting rural university students.