Mental Health Status and Perceived Barriers to Seeking Treatment in Rural Reserve Component Veterans
National Guard and Reserve (RC) troops (N=617) primarily from the Appalachian Region in Southwestern Pennsylvania who recently returned from deployment in support of current military conflicts responded to a survey that assessed their demographics, mental health symptoms, help-seeking behaviors, barriers for not seeking treatment, deployment history, and stressors. Veterans were classified as rural (N = 334) or non-rural (N = 283). Rural participants reported a significantly greater number of issues with transportation/access in seeking mental health treatment, were more likely to perceive others as worse off as a reason not to seek treatment, had a more negative attitude toward seeking treatment for mental health problems, and reported fewer concerns about a mental health problem affecting their career. Recommendations for mental health care providers and policymakers are offered based on the results, including the importance of recognizing the distinctive barriers to care that RC Appalachian veterans face when they come back into civilian communities, many of them rural.
Bennett, Elizabeth, Michael Crabtree, Mary Schaffer, and Thomas Britt. 2011. "Mental Health Status and Perceived Barriers to Seeking Treatment in Rural Reserve Component Veterans." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 26(3): Article 6. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol26/iss3/6