Pre-COVID-19 literature had already shown that suicide rates are higher in rural communities3. Many factors have been attributed to this maldistribution, including limited access to care, reluctance to seek care, older age and higher rates of disability. At a time such as this, when the pandemic itself acts as a significant stressor to peoples lives, there is a much greater need for people in rural communities to seek mental health care.
COVID-19 is the type of disruptive event we dont often see in health. New Zealanders recently learnt that the first COVID-19 patient death occurred in Greymouth Hospital. What has been most revealing for local clinicians is the effect on our workforce.