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Mental Health Experts Address Challenges Of Care In Rural Illinois

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Mental health care has been made more challenging by the pandemic.

Mental health experts are working to address the challenges of mental health care in rural Illinois, and looking at how that care has been impacted by the pandemic.

The SIU School of Medicine and Paul Simon Public Policy Institute hosted the online event, which included experts in government policy and youth mental health services.

Matt Buckman, Executive Director of the Stress and Trauma Treatment Center in Eldorado, said even pre-pandemic the area struggled with a shortage of mental health professionals.

While the pandemic exacerbated these issues, Buckman said it also opened the door for more options like telemedicine that can be especially useful in rural areas.

“But as it became an everyone type of challenge that affected people differently, depending on where they are, the type of situation they might be in, the context of their life, what we ended up finding was, options became more available,” he said.

The webinar is one in a series of events being held over the next nine months, that examines ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted rural health.

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