Mental Health Concerns for Caregivers in Rural Communities

  • Martin MorthlandEmail author
  • Forrest Scogin
Part of the Caregiving: Research, Practice, Policy book series (CARE)


Rural caregivers face unique challenges that affect their mental health. While many attractive aspects of rural-living remain, the fallacy of the “Mayberry myth” has been exposed in the literature. Being a caregiver in a rural locale can mean that the pressures of such responsibilities are compounded by isolation and diminished access to resources. Being a caregiver in a rural area can simply mean, doing more with less. As such, these caregivers deserve particular attention with regard to the mental health concerns they face. The Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA n.d.) defines a caregiver as “anyone who provides assistance to someone else who is, in some degree, incapacitated and needs help.” The FCA further specifies formal, or professional, caregivers as, “volunteers or paid care providers associated with a service system,” and informal, or family, caregivers as, “[u]npaid individuals, such as family members, friends and neighbors who provide care. These individuals can be primary or secondary caregivers, full time or part time, and can live with the person being cared for or live separately”.


Mental Health Mental Health Service Family Caregiver Mental Health Policy Mental Health Concern 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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