Rural towns face higher suicide rates than big cities
Tony Long-Drew of Still Waters Counseling in Estacada realizes his practice would be different if he worked in a big city.
"If you just hang a shingle saying you're a counselor, that won't work in a small town," he said. "You have to put yourself out there and establish rapport with the town."
Long-Drew and Laura Edwards, a counselor at Orchid Health's Wade Creek Clinic, are working to connect with local residents who have a need for therapy and other resources for mental healthcare.
Research shows that additional availability of these resources in rural areas could be beneficial. In 2017, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that from 2001-2015, rural counties had a suicide rate of 17.32%, compared to 11.92%t in large metropolitan areas.
"I think one element of that is feeling like there's a stigma . . . about what's OK to talk about. (There's the thought that) if you're still able to walk and talk, it's not a problem," Edwards said.
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