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Rural Mental Health

Mental health is a real issue for our communities, particularly those living in rural areas. 

Relief Resources 

Mountaineers are often known for determination and willpower. We take pride in meeting challenges, overcoming obstacles and persevering in tough times. One of those challenges is the issue or mental health, particularly in our rural areas. It's  a real issue for families across the United States, including our West Virginia families. With these issues come unique challenges for our families, especially when they do not have the same access to care compared to those in urban areas.

Did you know that rural communities have:

  • 20% fewer primary care providers?
  • 28% of homes lack access to broadband?
  • 65% rural counties do not have a psychiatrist? 
  • 64% of residents have higher rates of suicide compared rates of large urban areas?
  • Fourth highest suicide rate  (36.1 people per 100,000) in the co untry for those in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industries (per a Center for Disease Control study)?

In addition to lack of basic services, many rural families also report a fear of being negatively judged by family, friends and community members for appearing weak or unable to deal with life’s challenges. Or they are told that mental health issues are not a valid health issue. This stigma remains one of the largest barriers for many individuals in rural communities.  

All of these factors have created a mental health emergency in rural America. For those living and working in these communities, the issues can have a detrimental effect on their overall health and affect all aspects of their lives. 

Through a grant from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, WVU Extension has developed a list of mental health resources available to you. If you or a loved one feel that you need someone to talk to, you can use one of the free, confidential resources listed on the back of this card.

National Hotlines and Resources

Local, state and national resources are available 24/7 for those struggling with mental health. You can contact your local WVU Extension office for more information or reach out to one of the national or community resources listed below.

National Suicide and Crisis Resources 

Phone: 988

The lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the U.S.

Crisis Text Line

Text HOME to 741741

The Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support from anywhere in the U.S. where a live, trained counselor can receive the text and respond from a safe and secure platform.

Rural Health Information Hub

Phone: 1-800-270-1898 mental-health

The Rural Health Information Hub is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. The RHIhub is a guide to improving health for rural residents – providing access to current and reliable resources and tools to address rural health needs.  

Farm Aid Hotline

Phone: 1-800-FARM-AID/1-800-327-6243

For farmers, agribusiness owners and others living in rural communities, there is a resource to connect you to an extensive network of farm and rural support organizations. The hotline team is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST); 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. (PST). 

West Virginia Hotlines and Resources

West Virginia Suicide and Crisis Line

Phone: 1-844-HELP4WV/1-844-435-7498

24-hour crisis line

West Virginia Family Resource Network


The West Virginia Family Resource Networks are organizations throughout the state that respond to the needs and opportunities of the community. Partnering with community members and public and private organizations, WVFRN members develop innovative projects and provide needed resources for their local areas.

Funding for the West Virginia Network for Rural Mental Health and Farmer Stress program was made possible by the Farmers and Ranchers Stress Assistance Network through the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.