Presentation Title

City vs Country, Which is Better for Your Mental Health: An Analysis of the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness in Canada's Rural Urban Fringe

Format of Presentation

Poster to be presented the Friday of the conference

Abstract

Mental health is a subject urban residents are familiar with, which leads to many services being readily available to those who seek help. This, however, is not the case with residents located in the rural-urban fringe. Not only do fringe communities have limited access to health services, but they associate mental illness with negative stigmas, which interestingly has a greater influence on men than women. One would assume the rural-urban fringe experiences greater levels of depression and anxiety because of this, ultimately leading to greater suicide rates. Our principle conclusion is that although suicide is more probable for people in rural communities, depression, and anxiety are more prominent in urban areas. This poster attempts to analyze why suicide rates are greater in the fringe, despite more reports of mental illness in urban centers. We suspect the powerful stigmas surrounding mental health stem from rural residents' perceptions of how society should be, specifically regarding the image of a rural man. Methods to compare the areas of interest included literature reviews including Census Canada, and case studies. Finally, we offer suggestions to counter these stigmas and reduce mental Illness in both rural and urban areas of Canada.

Department

Geography and Environmental Studies

Faculty Advisor

Tom Waldichuk

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City vs Country, Which is Better for Your Mental Health: An Analysis of the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness in Canada's Rural Urban Fringe

Mental health is a subject urban residents are familiar with, which leads to many services being readily available to those who seek help. This, however, is not the case with residents located in the rural-urban fringe. Not only do fringe communities have limited access to health services, but they associate mental illness with negative stigmas, which interestingly has a greater influence on men than women. One would assume the rural-urban fringe experiences greater levels of depression and anxiety because of this, ultimately leading to greater suicide rates. Our principle conclusion is that although suicide is more probable for people in rural communities, depression, and anxiety are more prominent in urban areas. This poster attempts to analyze why suicide rates are greater in the fringe, despite more reports of mental illness in urban centers. We suspect the powerful stigmas surrounding mental health stem from rural residents' perceptions of how society should be, specifically regarding the image of a rural man. Methods to compare the areas of interest included literature reviews including Census Canada, and case studies. Finally, we offer suggestions to counter these stigmas and reduce mental Illness in both rural and urban areas of Canada.