Rural and Frontier


Who’s Your Hospital?

Frontier and Rural environments encompass a large variation of social, economic, and population infrastructure within their communities making it likely that there would be a variety of possible emotional issues that people could have. Remoteness is another aspect of these communities and has made it less and less likely that there will be mental health professionals available when residents are in crisis. A hospital may be too far to travel when you are in need, so instead think of someone close to you as your “hospital.” Make an agreement with that person or people to help you out in times of need - a safety net of hope. Another aspect of this is that treatment or hospitalization may not be the course of action that is needed. Finding what works for you at the moment to keep you calm, safe, and alive is the most important part of finding your “hospital.”

This remoteness usually means that primary care physicians are your front line when dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts. They may be able to help directly or they may be able to point you in the direction that is necessary for assistance.

Rural and frontier communities are commonly close-knit. Using each other for support is a major asset in combating both suicidal feelings and suicidal loss. The loss of one person in a rural or frontier community can have a massive impact and touch many lives. If you’re feeling suicidal, please call the number at the top of the page or talk to someone in your community. Some people that might be willing to help are:

Parents, Siblings, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Pastors, Teachers, Employers.

houseSomething to keep in mind is that talking to others does not mean that you are weak or that there is something wrong with you. Oftentimes, there is little we can do to control our emotions, and words like “mental health” are sometimes scary. Many people experience shame because of their depression or suicidal thoughts, but talking to people and asking for support will help more than it hurts in times like these.

Once you talk to someone you can trust, it is highly encouraged that they help you seek long-term, objective help in the form of a counselor, therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. If you need assistance in finding a local Mental Health Center, you can click here. If you can’t find one near you, or need help locating one, please call 785-840-8493.

Preventing Youth Suicide in Rural America - Recommendations to States

Kansas Rural Health Works

To learn about effective ways of restricting lethal means to suicidal or depressed people in your household, please visit our page on Safety Planning.