Mental health in rural america during COVID-19 and beyond

J. Tom Mueller, Alexis A. Merdjanoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


COVID-19 has had remarkable impacts in rural America. Although the onset of the pandemic was in urban areas, it quickly spread to rural areas and ultimately resulted in higher mortality rates for rural populations. Due to this and other associated impacts, the pandemic has resulted in mental health issues across rural America. In this chapter, the authors first describe the state of rural America pre-pandemic, then detail the overall and mental health impacts of the pandemic on rural people. Following this, the authors report results of a case study on COVID-19 in the rural America West and conclude with recommended steps for addressing the unfolding crisis. Many of the steps the authors can take to improve rural mental health following the pandemic have long-been necessary. However, given the impacts of COVID-19, they are now needed more than ever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCOVID-19, Frontline Responders and Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationA Playbook for Delivering Resilient Public Health Systems Post-Pandemic
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781802621150
ISBN (Print)9781802621181
StatePublished - Jan 23 2023


  • COVID-19 response
  • Health care access
  • Mental health
  • Resiliency
  • Rural
  • Rural-urban disparities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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