Mental Health Disparities in Rural Areas

Topic: Psychological Issues
Words: 902 Pages: 3


A social issue is a social contradiction, perceived by a person as a significant discrepancy for them between the goal and the result. This discrepancy, arising from the lack or lack of means to achieve the goal, leads to the dissatisfaction of social needs (Morales et al., 2020). This is a specific social situation that is identified as difficult and undesirable by people directly associated with it, and in accordance with generally accepted values.

Description of the Issue

The psychological state of a person is very closely related to the quality and nature of the environment. Differences in the level of psychological knowledge of rural and urban residents represent an issue of mental health disparities (Morales et al., 2020). This is due to the different nature of the influence of socio-economic and political, including factors of the social environment, features of the professional environment, and context on a person as a resident of a certain locality status.

Two Sides

The first distinct side of mental health disparities is the residents of the city. A high pace of life can stimulate stress and anxiety, especially in those who, due to their individual characteristics, prefer a quieter life. Although city residents have better access to psychological help, there are more factors in their environment that can provoke psychological diseases (Morales et al., 2020). The inhabitants of the village are a certain socio-demographic group with peculiar socio-psychological and social values characteristics. They are determined by the level of socio-economic and cultural development of a particular society. These factors affect the psyche of residents of non-urbanized areas, causing significant differences in the risk level of the formation of psychological diseases.

History of the Issue

Mental health disparity issues arose with the urbanization of society. The increasing differences between workers and peasants were connected not only with the existence of two forms of public property (Ralston et al., 2019). Of considerable importance were the differences in the nature of industrial and agricultural production, as well as in living conditions and the level of culture, which caused the peculiarities of the occurrence, course, and treatment of mental diseases.

Analysis of Socio-Political Forces

The socio-political forces that play a role in the development and the perpetuation or nothing of this issue are related to the peculiarities of the political system. With the growth of the social division of labor, the separation of the city from the village occurred. Therefore, historically, political and social processes have contributed to the emergence of a sharp contrast between the village and the city in economic, political, and cultural terms, which has affected mental health disparities (Ralston et al., 2019). For example, the unequal socio-political division into towns and villages of the industrial and agricultural sectors, whose residents have different awareness of mental health problems and different access to medical assistance, had a great impact.

Target Audience

The target audience is residents of both strongly and weakly urbanized areas. First of all, the population under the age of thirty suffers from mental health disparities, so they will create the main target audience.

Effects on Health Care

The effects of this issue on the health care of a particular community of rural residents are as follows. Due to the greater stigmatization of mental health in the countryside and the lack of access to quality medical care, the percentage of suicide prevention in the particular community of rural residents is less than in the city (Ralston et al., 2019).

Pros & Cons

The post related to the issue is that thanks to mental health disparities, the pace of life in villages is more sparing. Rural residents are less susceptible to stress, and, as a result, have a lower probability of mental illness than urban residents. However, there are many more cons related to the issue. The stigmatization of the mentally ill is highly developed in the villages, characterized primarily by discrimination – that is, an attitude that negatively affects patients. It leads to a deterioration in the possibilities of social adaptation of mentally ill people in rural areas, to a decrease in their quality of life, and also prevents the establishment of trusting relationships of such patients with the environment.

My Opinion

In my opinion, mental health disparities have much more negative consequences than benefits. Indeed, due to the pace of life and stress, citizens are more susceptible to various forms of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. However, the reason for this may be insufficient surveys of rural residents, as they are unrepresented in social surveys. In addition, they are less likely to receive qualified help on time due to insufficient mental health education in the villages.

Suggested Remedy

To eliminate mental health disparities, it is necessary to officially add psychological health lessons to the school curriculum in rural areas. Within the framework of this discipline, work will be carried out to eliminate the stigmatization of mental diseases (Morales et al., 2020). Students will also be trained in the techniques of primary self-diagnosis, which will allow them to identify signs of the need to seek help in time.


In the modern world, mental health disparities are a serious problem. Although there is an opinion that residents of cities also suffer from it, residents of rural areas are more susceptible to the negative influence of this factor. To minimize its consequences, it is necessary to introduce universal mental health education as a compulsory school discipline.


Morales, D. A., Barksdale, C. L., & Beckel-Mitchener, A. C. (2020). A call to action to address rural mental health disparities. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 4(12), 463–467.

Ralston, A. L., Andrews, A. R., & Hope, D. A. (2019). Fulfilling the promise of mental health technology to reduce public health disparities: Review and research agenda. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 26(1), 516-523.

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