Urban-Rural Differences in Attitudes Toward Mental Health, Stigma and Willingness to Seek Treatment for Suicide

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Dunn, Makenzie
Washburn University
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The increasing incidence of suicide in recent years is a major public health concern in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). The rate of suicide in rural areas continues to exceed that found in metropolitan areas (Hirsch & Cukrowicz, 2014; Singh & Siahpush, 2002). Specifically, a recent survey shows the rate of suicides in rural counties was 1.8 times the rate of urban counties (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). It is important to gain a deeper understanding of factors that influence the increased rate of suicide in rural areas in order to develop and implement effective interventions. The current study’s purpose is to compare urban and rural individuals’ stigma and attitudes towards seeking professional mental health services and its effects on their willingness to seek help for suicide. Specifically, researchers want to see if self-stigma, public stigma, and attitudes toward seeking professional help are mediating variables for individual’s willingness to seek help for suicide.