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Local Mental Health officials say Rural Communities need more resources.

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Local Mental Health officials say Rural Communities need more resources.

BOONE (WREX) — Boone and Stephenson County mental health officials say more needs to be done for rural communities.

The mental health crisis is a growing concern here in the Stateline amongst health care professionals in our rural communities. Leaders from the Boone County Health Department say because of the area’s size they simply don’t have as much to offer.

” Lack of access to services, there’s many offices that we have here that are willing to help us they do tend to be smaller offices satellite offices that may not have the full realm of services than maybe the larger office in a different county, “said Jessica Perillo, Winnebago County Health Community Outreach Advocacy and Recovery.

Stephenson County is also facing similar challenges. According to 708 Mental Health Board President Hugh Knapp, the difference is the entire community does not always recognize mental health issues as an urgent concern.

“Because we are in a more of agricultural setting the mind set for being accepting of mental health services would be some obstacle,” said Knapp.

He continued to say,

“I think also in a rural area like ours a lot of families and extended families have been here for generations and so when an individual in a family might be having a difficulty it ripples through the whole family,” said Knapp.

Perillo says these challenges make it that much harder to identify the problems and then solutions for each individual’s needs.

“There’s a population of individuals that can’t necessarily live on their own one hundred percent of the time but aren’t to the point where they need one hundred percent assistant care so it can be really difficult to find that balance between what they really need and what we have access to,” said Perillo

If you are looking for resources in Boone County, some mental health agencies in those areas include Rosecrance, Remedies Re-Newing Lives, and Crusader Community Health.

If you are looking for agencies in Stephenson County, some resources in that area include FHN Family Counseling, New Horizons Counseling Center, Crisis Intervention, and Rosecrance.

The Boone County Health Community Outreach Advocacy and Outreach program can connect you with professionals who work within those agencies in their region.

 

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