Area of Focus
Rural Mental Health
The Mountain Plains MHTTC’s rural mental health vision is to support increased access to providers of behavioral health services for the more than 60 million Americans living in rural communities. To achieve this vision, the Mountain Plains MHTTC develops and promotes training and technical assistance which supports the rural behavioral health workforce in HHS Region 8. This includes enhancing access to training and technical assistance that reduces barriers to behavioral health treatment for rural residents.
Rural Barriers to Mental Health Services
Addressing Rural Mental Health
The Mountain Plains MHTTC plans to address the rural barriers around mental healthcare accessibility, availability, and acceptability in Region 8. As an example, the Mountain Plains MHTTC will develop and provide training and technical assistance that:
Rural Mental Health Resources
There are several resources available that provide summaries of rural mental health concerns, up-to-date data visualization, and toolkits for addressing rural barriers to mental health services. Some of these resources include:
Addressing Rural Behavioral Health Workforce Shortages: Lessons Learned from a Rural Psychology Internship Initiative
This brief describes an initiative focused on developing rural psychology internship opportunities in an effort to grow the rural workforce. These internships have proven effective for behavioral health workforce development and may apply to other health disciplines as well.
Critical Crossroads: Pediatric Mental Health Care in the Emergency Department
The number of children seeking care for a mental health crisis in an emergency department is on the rise. With often limited mental health services, hospitals in rural areas bear an excessive burden. This toolkit can better prepare hospital emergency departments to manage and coordinate care for children and adolescents in mental health crisis. You can tailor the resources to your specific needs, patient population, and community. This is a product of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
National Association for Rural Mental Health
NARMH is a professional organization that serves the field of rural behavioral health. NARMH's membership includes the entire spectrum of the rural mental health community, including consumers, family members, practitioners, administrators, educators, researchers, and policy makers. A unifying force for NARMH has been a focus on rural concerns, which includes a commitment to rural people and those that serve them. This belief that rural comes first has allowed NARMH to concentrate its efforts to improve access, availability, acceptability of behavioral health and substance abuse services and research in rural and frontier areas.
Preventing Farmer Suicide: Collaboration and Communication
Farmers face a multitude of unique stressors, such as difficult economic conditions and extreme weather. These challenges have led to a recent increase in the number of farmers taking their own lives. Experts discuss warning signs of suicide and how communities can help farmers and their families address mental health concerns. This video was developed by the RHIhub.
Promoting Positive Mental Health in Rural Schools
This guide provides resources specific to addressing the unique mental health training and technical assistance needs of schools serving rural and remote communities. Underscoring the purpose of the document was a recognition that schools, communities, and families often lack comprehensive treatment and services for children and youth. That is particularly true in rural communities.
Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) Mental Health in Rural Communities Toolkit
This toolkit provides an overview of mental health as well as an introduction to some of the unique challenges facing isolated communities. Additionally, this module will provide insight into important background information needed to implement programming and improve mental health in rural communities.
Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) Rural Mental Health Topics Page
Here you can access resources, current data, news, events, models and innovations, and funding opportunities specific to rural mental health.
Rural Health Research Gateway Mental and Behavioral Health Topic Page
The Rural Health Research Gateway is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Gateway provides access to all of the research products of the federally-funded Rural Health Research Centers. Access all of their recent research on rural mental and behavioral health.
Rural, Remote, and Resilient: How to Build Better Outcomes Outside of America’s Cities
Developed by the Master of Public Health (MPH) online program from Baylor University's Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, this product discusses health disparities between metro and non-metro counties and offers strategies on how to collaborate to foster better health results in rural areas.
Rural Suicide Prevention Toolkit
This new toolkit housed with the Rural Health Information Hub and created in partnership with the University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, compiles evidence-based models and resources to support organizations employing suicide prevention programs in rural communities. Learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain suicide prevention programs in your community.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. Works to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities. Part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Understanding Rural Communities: Perspectives on Rural Mental Health
In 2017, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health began to take a hard look at ways to work and learn alongside rural communities to promote conditions that support mental health. In this 20 minute podcast, you will hear from Dennis Mohatt, a national expert in the field of rural mental health, as he discusses how the unique characteristics of rural communities affect mental health and the implementation of mental health programs.