Increasing suicide rates in rural America

Increasing suicide rates in rural America

Some of the common mental disorders that afflict thousands of people from across the globe, every year, are closely linked to suicidal tendencies. Mental health patients are victims of the stigma, which inhibits them from seeking help and forces them to give up. According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates between 2004 and 2013 indicated an increase of approximately 20 percent of suicide rates in small metropolitan, micropolitan and rural counties in America.

Another contributing factor to this increase in suicide rates is the lack of availability and accessibility of mental health care services, high poverty and unemployment rates, less opportunities for betterment of life, and scarcity of trained health professionals, which together make life stressful and burdensome for people living in rural America.

Challenges of mental health services in rural America

The impact of mental illnesses on a person’s emotional and physical health is tremendous. The first and foremost step in understanding a disease and realizing how it affects someone is the awareness on the part of the person suffering from the disorder and those around him/her. However, an average rural resident lacks the knowledge of the symptoms of mental health disorders and faces double discrimination, one because of his socio-economic status and second, due to his poor physiological and cognitive functioning as a result of the illness. The misconceptions about the disorder often leave the victims to fend for themselves.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the social upbringing of rural Americans and the environment they continue to live in cause high stress levels that have a cascading effect on the individual and those closest to them. The growing tensions at home and outside, and the absence of professional help can worsen the condition of those who resort to substance abuse as a way to get relief from life stressors. The vicious cycle becomes so engulfing that it doesn’t leave any room for improvement and leads to suicidal ideation. Lack of availability of psychologists and other facilities forces rural residents to seek assistance from primary care physicians who may not be trained to deal with mental health needs.

It is imperative to remove the challenges associated with the rural-urban disparity and bring mental health services at par with physical services. Some of the ways to improve the scenario are through extensive use of technology, such as telehealth services to increase the reach, financial policies that are more people-friendly and affordable, integration of mental and primary health services to expand coverage, and awareness about mental health among the rural populace to encourage them to seek help.

Road to recovery

Mental health is an integral part of a person’s life and everyone deserves to attain a healthy living. Good health is measured by the balance between physical, mental and emotional aspects. If any of these are affected, it deteriorates the overall quality of life. Mental health disorders are treatable with the help of professional assistance by trained mental health professionals.

The experts at the Colorado Mental Health Help can connect you or your loved ones to the best mental health rehab in Colorado where diagnostic assessment helps customize the treatment for the patient. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 899-5063 or chat online to avail information on evidence-based mental health treatment Centers in Colorado.