The section offers information for those providing services in rural areas and for people who live in rural communities around the world.
Rural America makes up 90% of the United States landmass and is home to approximately 25% of the U.S. population. Despite these proportions, rural issues often are misunderstood, minimized, and not considered in forming national mental health policy.1
Stigma is particularly intense in rural communities, where anonymity is difficult to maintain.2 The negative attitudes attached to having a mental disorder in a rural area can lead to under-diagnosis and under-treatment of mental disorders among rural residents. Additionally, finding a mental health provider and accessing care is more difficult in rural areas than urban areas, with persons with mental illnesses sometimes spending more time traveling to see a provider than at actual appointments.
Information on mental health issues in rural areas, including how to increase social inclusion and reduce discrimination, can be found in the materials in this section.