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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration


Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

 

Rural Communities

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.

1Report of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health
2Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (1999)

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.