Friday, October 07, 2011

Northwest Missouri newspaper spotlights problems in mental health care in rural areas

Lack of resources keep many rural residents from getting mental and emotional health care, With higher rates of depression and suicide among teenagers and older adults in rural America, this is a major concern, reports Debbie Morello of the Maryville Daily Forum in northwest Missouri, noting that this is National Mental Illness Awareness Week. Monday, Oct. 10, is World Mental Health Day.

"There are people without means to get help, they have no money, no transportation and very few resources," Phil Graham, a psychologist with a part-time office in Maryville, told Morello, referring to the disparity between urban and rural availability of mental-health care. Lack of affordable insurance is another problem, as many private insurers have failed to keep up with mental health needs, Graham added.

Depression rates in rural areas tend to exceed rates in urban areas and suicide rates for teens and older adults are higher in rural areas, according to the Office of Rural Health Policy, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Read more)

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