Jennifer Moore

As the Journalist-in-Residence at Missouri State University, Jennifer teaches undergraduate and graduate students, oversees a semester-long, team reporting project, and contributes weekly stories to KSMU Radio in the area of public affairs journalism.

Suicide rates are higher in rural areas than urban areas—and the gap between urban and rural suicide rates is widening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

A small clinic sits on the main drag in Mansfield, Missouri – that’s in Wright County, one of Missouri’s 70 counties without a full-time psychiatrist, according to the Missouri Board of Healing Arts.

Until a few years ago, Addie Blankenship saw herself as a relatively healthy mom of three. She didn’t recognize that she was exhibiting symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder—a mental condition that leads to obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions.

“So I would spend hours and hours washing things. Or I would have a thought that something may be on my clothes, so I would change my clothes every time I’d have a bad thought, which sometimes was 10 times a day. Sometimes more,” Blankenship said.

Drive down a dirt road in Dallas County, under a thick canopy of walnut trees and over three cattle guards, and you’ll come to Rachel Harrison’s home in Windyville, Missouri.  

A few years ago, Harrison was using her Bachelor’s degree in biology in a hospital laboratory.

“I was a generalist, which means I was in charge of urinalysis, chemistry, special chemistry, hematology, blood banking, coagulation, I think I got it all—phlebotomy, all that kind of stuff,” Harrison said.

But at age 25, she began to hear what sounded like people talking.

On the evening of May 22, 2011, then Governor Jay Nixon was in the basement of the Governor’s Mansion, getting ready to hop on an elliptical machine and sweat out some of the stress only a chief executive can know.

Sunday evenings were routinely his favorite time to work out; the TV positioned in front of the elliptical allowed him to catch the end of weekend NFL games, at least during football season.

Missouri has the 15th highest call volume in the country on the national human trafficking hotline—that’s according to the most recent statistics provided by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Advocates for trafficking victims say this issue is flying largely under the radar in Springfield.

Dawn Day is a charge nurse in the Emergency Department at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

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