These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve
as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects
or programs may no longer be active. Read about the
criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Need: Rural areas face challenges in access to mental health services, including shortages of mental health providers.
Intervention: This 8-hour course trains rural community members to recognize mental health and substance use issues and learn how to help someone who is developing a mental health concern or experiencing a mental health crisis.
Results: Numerous studies of this method have found that course participants are better able and more likely to help others regarding mental health issues.
Need: There is a lack of interventions that addresses teenager behavioral problems, particularly for rural African American adolescents.
Intervention: Rural, locally trained leaders administered five 2-hour meetings for teenagers and their primary caregivers. Trainings focused on reducing risks that prevent positive development, specifically sexual risk-taking that can lead to HIV and other STIs.
Results: Teens reported reduced conduct problems, depressive symptoms, and substance abuse. Families were strengthened, and SAAF-T reduced unprotected intercourse and increased condom efficacy.
Need: To increase access to telemental health services for rural veterans, especially women, with a history of trauma.
Intervention: STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation) is a 10-week program designed to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and increase emotional regulation and social functioning in clients.
Results: Therapists reported that clients attended more sessions when offered via teleconferencing, and clients reported satisfaction with the program.
Need: To improve awareness of behavioral and mental health issues by students in rural, east central Mississippi.
Intervention: An intensive community mental health outreach program was implemented for students in rural Mississippi.
Results: As of 2018 and on a yearly basis, 6,000 7th and 8th grade students receive mental health education on a variety of topics which improves their ability to recognize mental health issues, high risk behaviors, and their self-concept.
Need: To provide mental health services to rural Kansas students and their families.
Intervention: The Schools That Care project provides mental health treatment and case management as well as community education events.
Results: From 2018 to 2021, 3,456 individuals participated in health education and counseling activities offered to the public, and 964 individuals and 303 families received direct services through the Family Advocate.
Need: Mental health assistance and resources for men in rural Michigan who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Intervention: The Healthy Men Michigan campaign was a research study testing online screening for depression, including irritability and anger, and suicide in working-aged men. The Healthy Men Michigan campaign website also offers referrals to local and national resources specific to men's mental health.
Results: More than 5,000 individuals completed anonymous online screenings and 550 men enrolled in the study. Healthy Men Michigan secured partnerships with over 225 individual and organizational partners, including healthcare facilities, small businesses, and recreational groups across the state. Together, their efforts have helped to promote screenings, reduce stigma, and encourage help-seeking behavior to prevent suicide.