Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Out of Sight is Out of Mind: The Hidden Crisis in Rural America

Rural Mental Health: The Hidden Crisis in Rural America

It’s prohibitively difficult to access mental-health services in rural America. That’s because, relative to urban areas, rural counties have so few mental-health professionals. The majority of non-metropolitan counties in the U.S. don’t have a psychiatrist, and almost half lack a psychologist. The paucity has resulted in a public-health crisis—rural Americans suffering from a psychiatric condition are more likely to encounter police than receive treatment. Each year, 2 million mentally ill Americans, most of whom aren’t violent criminals, end up in jail. 

Lack of resources for mental health often falls onto the criminal justice system, which is woefully unequipped to handle them.  

Watch the short PBS documentary by Independent Lens,  “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” [14 min.]

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