New nonprofit focuses on mental health needs in rural America

Rural Minds â„¢ provides education and resources to address the stigma of mental illness

Posted: October 21, 2021 at 9:38 a.m. CDT|Update: 23 minutes ago

GREEN OAKS, Ill., October 21, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Rural spiritsâ„¢ launches today with a mission to serve as an informed voice for mental health in rural America and to provide information and resources on mental health. The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit will also communicate the importance of overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Rural Minds is launched to help rural Americans gain better access to mental health information and resources.

Rates of depression are higher in rural America than in urban areas, and suicide rates among people living in rural counties are 25% higher than those in large metropolitan areas. Tackling mental illness is a significant challenge in rural America due to unique barriers that include twenty percent fewer primary care providers than in cities, in addition to:

  • A lack of psychiatrists in 65 percent of rural counties;
  • A lack of psychiatric nurse practitioners in 81 percent of rural counties; and
  • A lack of high-speed internet access at home (four times more likely than for city dwellers).

Rural Minds is launched to help rural Americans gain better access to mental health information and resources, while providing opportunities to help those affected through shared stories of lived experiences with the disease. mental “said Jeff winton, founder and president of Rural Minds. “We hope to end the suffering, silence and stigma that surrounds mental illness in rural communities where the need is so great. “

Growing up on his family’s multigenerational dairy farm in the upstate new York, Winton knew about local residents battling mental illness in silence, but it didn’t touch the house until her 28-year-old nephew, Brooks, committed suicide almost a decade ago. This shocking news has become a revelation about the prevalence of mental illness in rural communities and a call to action.

“While my mother, Elaine, was urged by some members of our small farming community to remain silent about Brooks’ cause of death, she insisted that our family speak up about what happened,” he said. Winton said. “For this reason, I delivered a very honest eulogy at his funeral which prompted some of those present to speak about their struggles with depression and mental illness in their own families.”

Talking with friends and neighbors about their experiences with mental health and suicide reinforced the need for an organization focused on the unique challenges facing rural families. “The organization we are launching now, Rural Minds, is a tribute to my nephew, my mother and all those who suffer or are currently struggling with mental illness in rural areas of the country,” Winton added.

“I am pleased that this new organization is working to bring together individuals, local organizations, mental health nonprofits, and businesses who have a stake in the well-being of rural America. “, said Jeff Ditzenberger, founder of TUGS (Talking, Understanding, Growing, Supporting), a support group and Facebook page to help others by sharing the lived experience of mental illness. “Knowing that an organization like Rural Minds now exists to help people in rural America receive the mental health services they desperately need is heartening news for all affected. “

Jason medows, founder of State of agriculture of Mind, said the effort to shed light on the underserved Americans who feed the nation is important to the health of the entire nation.

“It is gratifying to know that this team has brought together the concept, vision and mission of Rural Minds,” said Medows. “The silent suffering and the stigma must end. This is exactly what farm families and rural residents need, more than ever. “

Rural spiritsâ„¢ is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit with a mission To serve as an informed spokesperson for mental health in rural America and provide information and resources on mental health. Our vision is a rural America where there is no more suffering, silence or stigma around mental illness. Find more information on and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Youtube.

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