Rural Americans’ challenges regarding mental health care
Rural Americans are reported to face challenges regarding mental health care. There are high cases of depression and suicide registered in the region. Such cases occur due to a lack of access to mental health care services so that the problem can be impeded. Additionally, about 19.1 of residents of ages 18 years old and above are affected by this challenge since they have record-high rates of mental illness (Capriotti, 2020). Adults within rural communities in America are also affected by the challenge, and they cannot access mental health care. The reason these individuals do not seek health care services is because of the stigmatization that is related to mental illness. The black people within this community in America are the most predominant individuals affected by the challenge since they record a high poverty rate compared to other ethnic groups like the native Americans. Additionally, rural people tend to have just one psychiatrist to attend to more than 30,000 people, especially rural Americans (Capriotti, 2020). Such cannot lead to eliminating and solving the challenge of mental illness as this is deemed a serious problem that many people encounter globally.
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Reason for the Prevalence of Lack of Mental Health Care in Rural Communities
People living in rural areas tend to face many challenges in seeking effective treatments for some serious illnesses. For instance, individuals in rural America tend to encounter challenges when accessing effective treatments for mental illness. According to the National Rural Health Association, some factors have been deemed the basis for the prevalence of lack of mental health care in rural America. Such include; inadequate mental health workforce professionals or psychiatrists to provide treatments for this individual. The shortage of mental healthcare workforce in the United States is only realized in rural areas and areas comprising low-income individuals (Morales et al., 2020). Many victims of mental health illnesses may not acquire the appropriate.
Additionally, the mental health workforce shortages in rural communities in the United States result from the high number of visits to mental health care is only done in primary care, and this primary care does not offer appropriate care for these individuals. Mental healthcare providers may also not want to provide healthcare services in rural areas because of the available restrictions on billings placed and based on Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. Thus, it is not easy to work because few clinicians are compensated under insurance plans. Due to the societal stigma surrounding mental health illness, many people are afraid to seek treatment, particularly in rural communities (Morales et al., 2020). Since they feel embarrassed when people close to them find out that they are seeking treatment mental health providers may also result in a lack of seeking mental health treatment for these people because of a lack of anonymity (Morales et al. 2020). Rural areas tend to face barriers that impede individuals with mental health problems from seeking treatment. Some of the obstacles include; the cost of treatment. Treatment of mental health problems tends to be expensive since certain insurance companies do not offer coverage for mental health services. Thus, it is costly for rural communities to access treatment services, as many individuals from rural communities lack health insurance, resulting in expensive healthcare services.
Social Underpinnings of Lack of Mental Health Care
Rural individuals in the United States of America tend to encounter more health disparities in mental health. This health inequality is based on some social factors which tend to increase the prevalence of the challenge. According to Morales et al. (2020), race or ethnicity is one of the critical factors that increases this challenge in rural communities. Ethnic minorities are reported to face more disparities in terms of mental illness. For instance, rural American Indians and African Americans tend to experience more mental illness prevalence than non-Hispanic whites. This results from poverty and the unemployment rate that is more experienced among rural ethnic minorities.
In addition, some other factors, such as accessibility to mental health treatment, are shared by rural ethnic minorities due to high stigmatization and cultural differences (Morales et al., 2020). These ethnic minorities in rural communities tend to find it difficult to access mental health treatment since it is hard to find a rural mental health provider who understands their culture. Thus, one must be culturally competent to provide quality care for these individuals.
Impact of Lack of Mental Health Care on Patients and Health Outcomes
Mental illness is a current problem that increases high morbidity rates in different communities globally. Many people face mental illness, which has been registered to increase the high number of suicide cases. Lack of mental health care among rural communities, especially in the United States, leads to failure to access proper treatment for the problem, thus increasing the condition’s prevalence. The victims make wrong decisions by killing themselves or suffering more. This affects families whose relatives are suffering from mental health illnesses. As a result of the lack of mental health care in rural communities, healthcare interventions that may help improve mental health cannot be adequately implemented. Rural communities are left behind while more focused on urban communities. Thus, increasing the condition’s prevalence affects the whole region and makes healthcare systems more irrelevant to many people.
Capriotti, T. (2020). Health disparities in rural America: Current challenges and future solutions. Clinical Advisor. Web.
Morales, D. A., Barksdale, C. L., & Beckel-Mitchener, A. C. (2020). A call to action to address rural mental health disparities. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 4(5), 463-467. Web.