Year: 2020 Source: The Journal of Rural Health. (2020). doi: 10.1111/jrh.12456 SIEC No: 20200394

Death by suicide is a serious problem in the United States
and rural communities are disproportionally affected by
these tragedies.1 According to the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), suicide rates in rural communities
have risen significantly over the past few decades.1 The
gap between the suicide rates in rural and urban communities is broadening and suicide rates are increasing
at a faster rate in rural communities than they are in
urban communities.1 For example, between 2010 and
2015, the suicide rates per 100,000 population in nonmetropolitan/rural counties increased by 7.1% compared
to 1.6% in urban counties.1 These findings may be explained by factors such as decreased access to mental
health resources, stigma, and economic stressors.2 Importantly, social isolation is an ongoing concern in rural areas, worsens mental health, and is a factor in suicide risk.2
Accordingly, there is an increased emphasis on the need
to build social supports or connectedness among communities as a strategy to combat suicide.