Rural young people's suicide rate is twice that of their urban counterparts
In America, the third leading cause of death among young people is suicide, and recent research shows that those living in rural areas are far more at risk than their urban counterparts.
The study, which was published in a pediatrics journal, reveals that people between the ages of 10 and 24 who reside in small towns take their own lives at twice the rate of those who live in cities.
Though what leads to such a decision remains murky, the researchers did find a number of population-related factors that likely contribute to the disparity.
One is the stigma that often surrounds mental health matters in remote communities, which is compounded by a general lack of access to professionals trained to address such issues.
"And even if someone wants to go to a mental health professional, in small towns there's a lack of anonymity in seeking care," the study's leader said.
Access to guns was also cited as a probable component in the rate disparity.
In rural areas gun ownership is higher, resulting in firearms being more accessible.
Solutions suggested by the researchers include integrating mental health care into general physician practices and providing access via video conferencing.
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