May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Community Hospital-Fairfax’s Senior Life Solutions is spreading awareness of the challenges of receiving mental health access in rural areas. While mental illnesses have a similar prevalence in both rural and urban environments, the circumstances and access to treatment look different. The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) tells us that rural residents face more obstacles in obtaining behavioral health services. As a result, distinct mental health differences are seen rurally compared to urban residents.
Studies have also shown that the risk of suicide is higher in rural areas, making it that much more vital that individuals seek out and have access to help. The Rural Health Information Hub states, “suicide rate is near twice as great in the most rural areas of the U.S. compared to the most urban areas.”
Figuring out a solution starts with identifying the problem. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)highlights the following barriers to receiving mental health care in rural areas:
Recently, amazing solutions such as telehealth have helped increase access to mental health care for rural Americans, making treatment more obtainable. Along with these incredible technological advances, one thing we can all do to help improve access to mental health is simply talking about it. Talking about mental health can open up the door for people to feel more comfortable and less afraid to seek help.
The American Psychiatric Association says, “Research shows that knowing or having contact with someone with mental illness is one of the best ways to reduce stigma. Individuals speaking out and sharing their stories can have a positive impact. When we know someone with mental illness, it becomes less scary and more real and relatable.”
To learn more about how you can become an advocate this Mental Health Awareness Month and join the National campaign,” visit www.nami.org.
Senior Life Solutions is Community Hospital-Fairfax’s ’s program, designed to meet the unique needs of individuals typically 65 and older experiencing depression and/or anxiety related to life changes that are often associated with aging. If you or someone you know is struggling with a recent diagnosis that is difficult to accept or a decline in emotional health, our program wants you to know we are here to help. Whether through our program, or another service, our team works to identify and address the emotional needs of those in our community and provide support.
If you need more information, education, or would like to discuss support, please call (660) 686 2319 or visit www.fairfaxmed.com.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Community Hospital-Fairfax was recognized as a Missouri AIM Star by the Missouri Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health. The recognition signifies the hospital’s completion of the organization’s Severe Hypertension in Pregnancy Collaborative. Hypertension, known as high blood pressure, can have a devastating effect on a mother and baby. Preeclampsia, a condition signaled by high blood pressure, is the leading cause of maternal mortality — occurring in one in every 25 pregnancies.
The MO AIM initiative launched in 2019 to support hospitals’ implementation of evidence-based practices to improve the rapid treatment of high blood pressure and ensure timely follow-up care after delivery. Hospitals within the collaborative participated in education and training, policy development, and data reporting, while increasing patient and family education on the reportable signs and symptoms of high blood pressure in pregnancy.
“The evidence is clear — early intervention for hypertension can save the lives of a mother and child,” said Jon D. Doolittle, Missouri Hospital Association President and CEO. “AIM’s Severe Hypertension in Pregnancy Collaborative is a powerful tool in efforts to reduce maternal and child harm in Missouri. These hospitals are making a difference for their patients.”
“Our obstetrical nursing team along with Aron Burke M.D. has worked diligently to meet the objectives of this program including educating our patients about hypertension and its impact on both the mother and baby’s health. We are grateful for their ongoing commitment to safe, high quality obstetrical care” explained Chief Nursing Officer, Samantha Grist, RN.
During the two-year program, 25 hospitals met the criteria for successful implementation.
Community Hospital-Fairfax is pleased to announce that Amanda Auxier FNP will be joining our South Holt Family Medicine clinic February 2, 2022. Amanda is the new full-time nurse practitioner in Oregon.
Amanda is a lifelong Northwest Missouri resident and makes her home in rural Savannah. She was a registered nurse for 22 years in a wide variety of healthcare settings before becoming a family nurse practitioner. Amanda has been working in both the Mound City and South Holt clinics over the last few weeks getting to know the clinics and community and is looking forward to her first day at South Holt Family Medicine Clinic on February 2. With Amanda’s arrival, the clinic will now be open four days a week including Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Rural healthcare is a passion of Amanda’s. She enjoys providing inclusive care to her patients and getting to know multiple generations in a community.
“I’ve worked in rural healthcare for many years and understand its unique nature. I feel very strongly about providing compassionate, cost effective and wholistic care and I can’t wait to get started serving this community” explained Amanda.
When she is not at the clinic, Amanda enjoys fishing and camping with her husband of 21 years, Noel. Together, they have three children and two grandchildren.
Amanda will be the full-time provider in the South Holt Clinic. She joins Dustin Carpenter M.D., Melissa Masonbrink FNP and Joanna Burke PNP, providers in the Mound City Family Medicine Clinic, in serving Holt County and the surrounding areas.
Please reach out to South Holt Family Medicine at (660) 446-2090 for more information.