Date: March 9th, 2015 7:06 PM
Author: shaun white (acp)
The researchers estimate that the rural-urban gap in suicide risk increased about 59 percent among males and 93 percent among females between 1996 - 1998 and 2008 - 2010.
The widening gap appears to be due to falling suicide rates in urban areas coupled with relatively stable suicide rates in rural communities, Fontanella said.
The gap in suicide risk persisted even after the researchers accounted for differences in healthcare access and social and economic traits.
Still, Fontanella said there may be residual problems in accessing mental health services in rural areas that could contribute to the gap, including lack of specialists and facilities. Also, stigma against metal health services is greater in rural areas, she said.
Other possible contributors to the increased suicide risk are economic hardship and isolation, the researchers write, adding that increased access to lethal methods of suicide may be a factor.