Woman committed suicide through drug overdoseAccording to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is currently one of the top ten leading causes of death in the country with more than 44,000 dead annually. On the average, there are about 121 suicides daily.

This is, however, touching the tip of the iceberg. There’s more to it than meets the eye including where it is more prevalent. Contrary to what many people think, it’s more common in the rural than metropolitan areas.

Two Studies

In October 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed suicide rates went up over 20 percent for 15 years beginning from 2001. The data from National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), though, pointed out that while the average deaths in large metropolitan counties were 11.92, it’s 17.32 among the rural areas.

Two years prior, however, a JAMA Pediatrics study cited how suicide in the rural communities was already very high, especially among the youths. The research said more than 66,000 males and females between the ages of 10 to 24 from 1996 to 2010. But even adjusting the ages, the female and male death rates were still higher in the rural communities – almost double the urban counties.

Possible Causes

One of the possible reasons for disparities in suicide between rural and urban areas is firearm access. Guns remain a preferred tool, particularly by rural males. In fact, health experts strongly encourage doctors to inquire about gun ownership when evaluating a person’s mental health.

But even proper mental health assessment is difficult. Many rural patients do not own or have inadequate health insurance. Furthermore, qualified doctors are not enough. A lot of facilities lack mental health services, or physicians do not spend a lot of time with patients.

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Why do these happen? Many factors affect the level of healthcare accessibility including budget and availability of professionals. For these two, however, facilities can consider taking advantage of high-quality physician staffing services. Providers can work around your budget and needs while making sure your facility receives only qualified professionals whenever you need them.

While the real reasons why people commit suicide are complicated, access to proper medical care is one of the growth factors. By making it more available, one may see rates falling rapidly.