Addressing the lack of mental health resources for women in rural areas through community action

By Indiana Lee

Mental health problems have been stigmatized for years, but fortunately they are getting the attention they deserve across the country. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an exponential rise in Psychological health The struggle, and as more people have begun to seek help, has painted a clear picture of the lack of mental health resources we face – especially in rural areas.

Unfortunately, mental health needs in rural areas are often not addressed. Especially for women. Research has shown that women in these communities are less likely to receive a diagnosis of depression and anxiety due to a lack of access to mental health screenings. In addition, many women who lead a rural lifestyle work full time and are often the primary caregivers for family members. It can take an emotional toll, and if these women’s emotional and mental needs aren’t met, it can lead to some serious conflicts.

So what can be done?

It begins by addressing the lack of mental health resources in these areas. Unfortunately, it is too late to wait for big companies or government initiatives to do something. While these things can (and should) happen over time, women in these areas need immediate attention and support. Mental health activists and community work can make a difference. Let’s take a closer look at how local rural communities come together Women help and reduce stigma and stereotypes surrounding mental health.

together as a community

There are a lot of reasons behind this in rural areas They often don’t get the mental health help they need. Some common problems include:

  • Accessibility
  • Affordability
  • availability
  • admissions

This last problem is significant in rural communities. While mental health issues are becoming less stereotyped across the country, there is still an underlying stigma. Women who work full time and take care of family members may share the stigma that mental health problems are a sign of weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Community support is essential to help remove this stigma. This requires a greater understanding of mental health education and a willingness to learn some of the common signs and symptoms of conditions such as depression and anxiety. The more willing your community is to destigmatize mental health issues, the more a safe space for women to open up and share what they’re going through. This may include small friend groups, community support groups, or mental health advocacy meetings with local government. When you’re in a small, rural community, you have to be willing to “step up” and take care of yourself, especially when there’s a shortage of available resources near you.

Find out what women do

Not only are more women working full-time jobs than ever before, but research has shown it 66% of caregivers For the elderly are women. Mothers are often Primary care providers of young children also. Although it may sound archaic, women are often tasked with domestic and family responsibilities in addition to having to work full time.

It should come as no surprise that women are more I got burned by men. When you live in a rural area, fatigue becomes much more serious. Women who have to “do it all” may not think they have the time or availability to de-stress and take proper care of themselves.

As the old saying goes, a village needs to raise a child. It takes a community to help and support the women who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. In addition to creating a safe space in which mental health issues are addressed, community work is about learning about what women do and need to do every day. Everyone from employers to schools and childcare centers can do their part to help and support women (particularly mothers) who may be juggling multiple responsibilities and could use a helping hand.

Ensure access to resources

Depending on where you live, there simply is It may not have many mental health resources available You as in urban areas of the country. It is not only a mental health resource, but general health as well. It is not uncommon for people in rural communities to be at higher risk of developing physical and mental health problems, and to have a tendency to have unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking or drug use. However, just because you don’t have access doesn’t mean that women in your community shouldn’t feel supported.

If resources in your community are scant, consider becoming a mental health resource yourself. We touched on the importance of educating yourself about mental health conditions and how they can affect people differently. Why not go one step further and complete Psychological training in first aid?

Doing so will allow you to support mental health in your community by:

  • Giving people a sense of hope
  • Know how to create a calm environment
  • Develop a sense of security
  • Build healthy relationships
  • Helping people in emotional distress

Although this type of training does not make you a certified therapist or counselor, it can bridge the gap and provide women in your community with the help and support they need if there are no other resources available. It can be especially helpful if you are a woman going through this training and using your skills and experience to help other women who may feel left out or who have experienced this. Misdiagnosed or ignored by local doctors.

There is no denying the challenges that women in rural areas face on a daily basis. However, it is important for everyone to feel supported. Whether you are a woman living in a rural community or you just want to do your part to help the women in your life, keep these ideas in mind, choose to advocate for mental health support, and be a proud voice in your community to help women who may be struggling.

Indiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. A business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle expert, you can follow her on Twitter @tweet

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