Rural youth rate double that of cities.

Position:Suicide - Brief article

The adolescent and young-adult suicide rate in the U.S. was almost twice as high in rural settings than in urban areas between 1996-2010, according to research in JAMA Pediatrics. Suicide rates by firearm and hanging were disproportionately higher in rural areas than in urban regions for both sexes.

The findings indicate there is an urgent need to improve access to--and availability of--mental health care in rural areas, researchers say. The authors suggest that incorporating mental health care into primary care settings, providing care via telemedicine, and creating school-based interventions might help reduce youth suicides in rural areas.

"These kinds of surveillance studies can really help us identify areas to target our prevention efforts, and it's clear we need to target rural areas for primary prevention of suicide," says psychiatrist Cynthia Fontanella, lead author of the study. She cites access barriers to health care, geographic isolation, and disproportionate stigma associated with mental illness as potential reasons for the observed...

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