Rural mental health: Part 1 – understanding rural mental health

by Dr Laura Nicholson


Last updated: January 2020


What is meant by the term 'rural'? Can living in the countryside have an effect on mental health? In people with mental illness, what are the differences between those living in rural and urban areas?


A significant proportion of the UK population is rural, and there is now a reasonable body of epidemiological research comparing the prevalence of mental illness in rural and urban areas. This is influenced by demographic factors, as well as by other factors such as access, social exclusion and rural deprivation.


An awareness of these factors is useful when dealing with patients who live in more or less rural areas. It can also help us to gain a more in-depth view of psychiatry across the UK.


Providing the background for Rural mental health: Part 2 – improving mental health services, this first module draws from current research on rural mental health to illustrate the complexity and importance of the rural setting and its relevance to psychiatry as a whole.


Start the module



If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Avoiding clinical bias in psychiatry by Dr Prasanna N. de Silva


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Part 1 and Part 2 by Dr John Eagles and Dr Allen Shand


Combating stigma by Aliya Kassam and Professor Graham Thornicroft


Cultural competency by Dr Micol Ascoli, et al


Cultural psychiatry by Dr Arabinda Narayan Chowdhury



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In the second module, Rural mental health: Part 2 improving rural mental health services, we explore further how the experience of mental illness can be affected by rurality, and look at service provision within a rural setting.



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