October 16, 2023

State officials point to broadband as rural leaders work to improve mental health services

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Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch oversees the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. She said the agency is working to provide rural broadband that could make mental health services more accessible.  - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch oversees the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. She said the agency is working to provide rural broadband that could make mental health services more accessible.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Many Hoosiers don’t have adequate access to mental health services. The lieutenant governor said broadband plays an important role in addressing barriers to access for rural communities.

Leaders at the Rural Justice and Public Health Professionals Summit identified how limited resources present a unique challenge to rural communities trying to improve mental health services.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said rural professionals and leaders have an important role in addressing barriers to mental health services.

“It's not the hand you're dealt,” Crouch said. “It's how you play it that's important. But we have a responsibility to give people good cards to play.”

Crouch said recent efforts to implement crisis intervention infrastructure were an important step for mental health in Indiana, but communities still face barriers to accessible care.

READ MORE: Statewide broadband program encourages eligible Hoosiers to apply for high-speed internet access

 

 

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Crouch oversees the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. She said the agency is working to provide rural broadband that could make mental health services more accessible.

“When we can get Hoosiers in rural Indiana connected, then we're going to be able to get more services to them,” Crouch said. “And so we will not rest until every Hoosier is connected.”

Crouch also said the intersection of the legal system and mental health, as well as housing, are important factors to consider for recovery and treatment.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

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