This is some serious truth out of Australia, that applies everywhere :
I can see where their fear stems from. In these small country towns, it’s difficult to walk down the one main street and not have 30 people you know see you. Where is the privacy in simply taking the first step to walk into a mental health clinic? It’s tough when there might only be one or two degrees of separation, not six. However, if there was zero stigma attached to ill mental health, that fear might not be so debilitating.
This is why we have to fight stigma. It should be no big deal if someone saw us walking into a mental health clinic. It should be met with concern, sure, but offers of support not judgement and ridicule.
We aren’t there, and in these small towns, the embarrassment of people around knowing someone might be struggling is killing people.