We’re still in denial, says report (Rural Mental Health)

IT’S the elephant in the room that many still tiptoe around, even deny outright – the stigma of mental illness, most obviously of chronic depression, still lives on in the bush, if now in more straightened circumstances.

The federal Senate report into mental health last month, in its reference to rural and remote communities, says the related matters of stigma and lack of information about mental illness is one of two outstanding issues affecting rural areas (the other being poor access to GPs and carer and community support services).

The inquiry says while the closeness of rural communities and their support networks can help some who aren’t coping, stigma against mental illness, underpinned by strong cultural pressures to be independent and resilient in the face of adversity, still means many of those affected will continue to “suffer silently”.

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