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Exploring Community Resources: Supporting Rural Wellness

Improving overall wellness is an essential goal for community health professionals and maintaining a healthy population can improve overall health outcomes. In rural communities, lower populations can lead to a decrease in access to health and support services, raising the risk for poor outcomes, education, and knowledge about health information and healthy behaviors. By looking at community support services for the Hill town area of Western Massachusetts, it can be determined if these services improve overall wellness to those living in low-income areas. The Village Closet located in Huntington, Massachusetts, provides essential resources, support groups, and resources for families in order to promote reaching out for help, and to decrease the stress for parents of young children. By providing support to parents and families this decreases the stress and worry for parents allowing them to have more sources of support to lean on in times of need. Decreasing stress levels of families supports their Social Determinants of Health in the Community and Economic context supporting the Healthy People 2030 goal of “reducing the proportion of people living in poverty.” Improving the amount of resources and sources of support in rural and low-income areas have allowed a decrease in stress to families, an increase in community connection, and an improvement in overall health education and wellness. 

Ashley Schabacker '25
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