With its unique combination of private and state owned land, the Adirondack Park has its own distinctive set of advantages and disadvantages. To the tourist, the park offers remarkable and unique natural attractions. It’s the perfect vacation destination to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Tourists flee in and out of the park at a rapid rate, staying long enough to enjoy the wildlife and recreational activities, but leaving before being affected by the rural environment. Tourists do not have to worry about things such as schooling and health care services in the park, they care about the recreational activities. Living in a rural environment produces challenges that tourists visiting the region don’t often think about.
Rural regions, including the Adirondacks region, face obstacles much different than those in urban regions, such as power outages, poor produce in winter months, long travel and commute times, etc. One specific example of an obstacle that rural residents have to overcome is poor access to health care services. Despite the fact that almost 25% of Americans live in rural areas, only around 10% of physicians practice in rural America (“Rural Health Care”). One-third of motor-vehicle accidents occur in rural areas, and two-thirds of the deaths from motor-vehicle accidents occur on rural roads, which shows a need for medical services (“Rural Health Care”). Rural communities face extreme transportation difficulties, usually traveling absurd distances to reach a doctor or hospital. Residents in the Adirondacks face many similar challenges, including a need for mental health services, which are potentially being unmet due to a limited access to and a lack of available funds, both on the county and individual level, for mental health services. Consequently, it causes a person to wonder whether or not Adirondack residents’ overall mental health is being negatively impacted.
One-third of motor-vehicle accidents occur in rural areas, and two-thirds of the deaths from motor-vehicle accidents occur on rural roads, which shows a need for medical services (“Rural Health Care”).
To the local resident, living in the park brings with it many challenges, including limited access to health care services, and the availability of mental health services within the Adirondacks is problematically low. Within this website, we will examine Adirondack residents’ access to mental health services and the potential need for more mental health services. We will make comparisons to the rest of United States, New York State and Chittenden County, which is home to Burlington, VT, a city located just outside of the Park and across from Lake Champlain. It will be shown that there are striking differences between Chittenden County and Adirondack Counties, despite Burlington’s immediate location next to the Adirondack Park.
“What’s Different about Rural Health Care?” Rural Health Web. National Rural Health Association. Web. 02 Mar. 2016.