Posted by Carolyn Martin on November 15th, 2019
Posted in: Health Literacy/Consumer Health, Health Observances
Tags: consumer health, health literacy, mental health, National Health Observances, rural health
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health created National Rural Health Day to celebrate the ongoing efforts and contributions of rural healthcare workers and organizations who work tirelessly to address the unique challenges in accessing and delivering health care services in rural communities. National Rural Health Day is observed each year on the third Thursday of November which is November 21 in 2019.
For those living in less populated areas, keeping healthy can be a challenge due to a number of factors. Fewer healthcare providers live and work in rural areas requiring longer trips to visit a dentist or doctor to obtain basic services such as checkups, preventative testing, and prescriptions. Living in more remote areas often means fewer specialty services if any are available. Close knit communities may make it difficult to seek care when it comes to more stigmatized health issues such as substance misuse, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and mental health.
Mental health is a topic of great concern in many rural communities. It can be especially difficult for those suffering from depression, anxiety, and other conditions. Smaller communities can be a great source of strength and support when it comes to the flu, a broken arm, or hip surgery. But, with a diagnoses of bipolar, schizophrenia, or anxiety, it can be isolating. Some of this is due to lack of knowledge about mental health, stigma, and awareness.
Want to help and learn more? Events and resources are provided below.
The Rural Health Information Hub offers 2 health toolkits which contain resources and information to develop and implement programs on mental health and suicide prevention.
Participate in a Mental Health First Aid course to gain skills and understanding to provide help and support.
The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) is providing several events to help organizations to address rural health including mental health:
More complete information is on the HRSA website.