Depression and Suicide Rates Highest in This Portion of the Country

The area also has a high rate of gun ownership and limited access to mental health resources.

Mountain West depression
Suicide and depression rates are highest in the Mountain West region of the country. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

Rates of depression and suicide are highest in the Mountain West states, where those who wish to seek psychological help are stigmatized, new research shows.

Advocates in the area, which includes Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona and Nevada are hard at work trying to reverse these entrenched notions surrounding mental health, USA Today reported. But the limited access to support in these states and their more rural regions is making it that much more difficult.

Seven out of the top 10 states with the highest suicide rates in the country are Mountain states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are a culture of pick yourself up by your bootstraps and you can do this alone,” prevention program director at the National Alliance on Mental Health’s Utah chapter, Kimball Gardner, said. “It’s kind of a cultural thing that we can just tough this out.”

Gardner said many people in the area with depression don’t think they need help, which is particularly concerning in a region with high gun ownership in rural areas with limited access to care.

“It is not unmanly, a failure or laziness,” Gardner said. “It’s a real wonderful thing to send a message to others: Don’t wait. Don’t try to tough it out.”

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