Rural Voice: Mental health and social isolation in rural communities
30 Oct 2023
Healthcare, News, Community
Rural Americans experience higher rates of depression and suicide than people who live in the city, but they are less likely to have access to mental health care services.
Add to that the social isolation that can come from living in remote areas, and the still taboo nature of mental health struggles in small towns, and you’ve got a recipe for desolation.
That’s why MPR News host Kerri Miller tackled the topic as part of her Rural Voice series. She moderated a town hall earlier this month in Little Falls, Minn., where community members discussed the realities of disconnection, post-pandemic, and how social isolation puts everyone at risk.
But they also brainstormed ways to fight it. How can therapists, doctors and volunteers become more culturally competent, so mental health struggles don’t go unaddressed? What can Minnesota do to make mental health care more accessible to rural communities? Are there particular programs that are effective with populations who are experiencing high rates of depression and anxiety right now, like seniors and teens?