Addressing Suicide Disparity in Rural Communities

This event was held on February 23, 2022.

  • Access slide deck and other resources by clicking DOWNLOAD above

  • Recording coming soon!

Event Description

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people living in rural communities are at higher risk of suicide than their urban counterparts. The combination of greater access to firearms, high rates of drug and alcohol abuse, and limited access to psychologists and other mental health professionals form a lethal triad that contributes to the significantly higher numbers of suicide in rural communities.  

In addition to these factors, many people living in rural community’s struggle with the stigma associated with mental health and seeking help.   

For rural communities, confronting the reality of higher suicide numbers and the lingering impact on their communities while identifying and understanding how to address the relationships between these factors is key to addressing the problem. 

This 4-hour seminar gave providers and anyone providing mental health support to individuals a working knowledge, resources, and community-based solutions for addressing suicide in rural communities. Participants learned about the signs and symptoms of suicide, the impact of stigma on seeking and maintaining treatment, the role of harm reduction, and suicide postvention for providers and families.    


 The seminar explored the following topics: 

  1. Stigma 

  1. Signs & Symptoms 

  1. Risk Factors vs. Protective Factors 

  1. How to Approach the Conversation as an individual and community. 

  1. Post-suicide - survivorship of the family "Nothing goes away in rural communities." 


Content for this seminar was drawn from multiple sources including Mental Health First Aid, the Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Primary Care Practices, and the American Indian Addendum to the Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Primary Care Practices.  
Due to the intensive and interactive nature of the seminar, registration was limited to 25 participants. 
For more information, please contact:  [email protected] 



Debra Brownlee, PhD

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