The rural population often faces significant mental health disparities when it comes to mental health treatment. Mental health services, including specialized treatment options, tend to often be centered in metropolitan areas, yet the prevalence of mental health needs in both rural and metro areas are similar.
Accessibility to mental health care can be difficult as well due to challenges with trying to find a provider that has availability, accepts your health insurance, and/or is not closely connected to others in the community. It can feel stigmatizing to ask for help when everyone seems to know everyone. It may be more difficult to avoid dual relationships in small towns when your therapist is also the therapist for family and friends, attends the same events, or does business with you. There is more room for problems related to ethics such as overlapping roles, privacy, and confidentiality.
When you live where you work and your co-workers could be your family, separating work stress from home stress can be harder. Some common stressors in rural and farm communities include financial struggles, coping with uncertainties and social pressures, family conflict, distress in parent-child, marital, or intimate partner relationships, and challenges supporting family members struggling with mental health and substance use concerns. Oftentimes, friends, family, or religious leaders find themselves taking on the role of informal mental health support, but this does not replace the need for mental health care.
CARE Counseling is excited to help bridge the gap by providing tele-health therapy. This option involves the same quality level of care that you would receive in a clinic setting but it is provided within the convenience of your own home.
Here are some of the awesome benefits that tele-health therapy offers our rural clients:
- Connect to trained mental health therapists with specialized training within the state of Minnesota (no need to commute!)
- Access same-week availability to meet with a therapist for yourself, your child, or your relationship (offering couples or family therapy).
- Choose from over 150 therapists to help find a great fit.
- Access providers who are in-network with all major insurance companies, including Medical Assistance.
- Coordinate care with your primary care physician and connect to additional support for continuity of treatment.
CARE Counseling offers tele-health therapy within the state of Minnesota, in addition to in-person options at our seven locations. Appointments can be scheduled online: https://www.therapyportal.com/p/carecounseling2000/ or call us at 612-223-8898.
Coping with Farm and Rural Stress in Minnesota Resources:
This website lists forms, resources, and external links for coping with farm and rural stress. https://www.mda.state.mn.us/about/mnfarmerstress
This MN Department of Agriculture brochure has some great resources for mental health help, daily living, business, financial, and legal help. https://www.mda.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/docs/2020-08/copefarmstressbrochure8-2020.pdf
This website offers a hub of mental health resources for the rural population. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/mental-health
Written By: Charlotte Johnson, MA, LPCC
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