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Mental Health Services Expanding In Rural Communities

(CBS DETROIT) -- A new mental health resource is making its way to underserved communities.

Honor First is a telehealth mental health service.

The organization is expanding to connect with rural communities, following recent mass shootings that shook the country.

"What we did with Honor First we created a program where over 75 mental health providers actually take out their time and actually go out to these remote areas so that they're able to reach people who need the help and support," said Dr. Jaschon Proctor, CEO of Honor First.

Proctor is leading the initiative to create crisis prevention programs through art therapy, medicine, and counseling.

"Crisis such as school shootings and mall shootings and suicides, etcetera, because no one is addressing the real cause of the problem," Proctor said.

According to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 65% of nonmetropolitan counties don't have psychiatrists.

A 2021 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that 1.8 million people live in remote areas in Michigan.

"Unfortunately, especially now with gas prices, they can't afford to drive an hour in to see a mental health provider," Proctor said.

"They need help right within their community."

Honor First provides in-person and virtual services.

The group's mission is to end the stigma associated with mental health issues.

"Because of the lack of resources, people feel left behind," Proctor said.

"When you go into rural communities, there is so much need. The same stresses and problems that all of us have, they have too, yet they don't have the resources to help deal with those problems."

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