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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1983 Mar;34(3):229-33.

Rural attitudes toward and knowledge of mental illness and treatment resources.


The stigma associated with mental illness is purported to be a major factor in the resistance of rural residents to mental health services. Through mail questionnaires and personal interviews, the authors gathered data from 3,057 rural residents in six Midwestern states on their attitudes toward and knowledge of mental illness and mental health services. They also examined the relationships between the demographic characteristics of the respondents and their knowledge and attitudes. In contrast to the findings of several other studies, the rural respondents in this study reported positive attitudes about treatment of mental illness. They expressed a high level of awareness of a variety of mental health services and appeared satisfied with those services. The authors discuss possible reasons for the discrepancies between the findings of this study and the studies reporting negative attitudes.

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