SIDNEY, NE. — Medical professionals in Sidney talk about how living in a rural community can affect suicide.

Licensed Independent Health Practitioner Kristen Rose said living in a rural community can increase the risk of suicide by almost double that in urban areas.

“Part of the increase is stigma and lack of resources in a small community,” Rose said.

Rose said 88 of the 93 counties in Nebraska are designated as mental health worker shortage areas.

“Anytime you see depression, anxiety, PTSD, or an eating disorder start to impact your life, start calling then and start getting on waitlists,” Rose said. “ A lot of people wait until it’s a crisis and it’s harder to get the help.”

Rose said people can feel isolated in a small community.

“You don’t have to tough through it, you can get the help,” Rose said.

Rose said part of the reason suicide is an issue in rural counties with men is due to the “Tough-guy” or “Cowboy-up mentality.”

“Farmers are an increased risk group, and it’s because of the tough-guy mentality,” Rose said. “I’ve previously worked with members of the military and it’s the same thing.”

Rose said some men feel like they can’t talk about their feelings or what is going on in their minds.

“We just need to de-stigmatize it, it’s okay to go and talk to somebody,” Rose said. “If something is malfunctioning in your body you go talk to a Doctor.”

Rose said mental health issues are more prevalent than what most people believe, and it's a myth that talking about suicide can create more deaths.

“Talking about the fact that it was a suicide can actually help prevent more deaths,” Rose said.

Rose said when a suicide occurs, it’s important to talk about and grieve the loss, especially in a small community.

For more suicide prevention training, SRMC is hosting a Question, Persuade, and Refer free training at The Cheyenne County Community Center on July 19th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. To RSVP for the event email [email protected]. SRMC also plans to host more of these trainings.