Now a leading mental health charity is targeting such areas to ensure those who are suffering know where to get help.
The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) is taking its Know Where to Go campaign to Moray, the Highlands, the Borders and the Western Isles to help those suffering in silence.
It is believed one in four people in Scotland will experience mental health problems in any given year and more than 800,000 people would not know where to seek help if they had concerns about their mental health.
For those in remote areas the problems can be logistical, such as getting to a hospital-based service with limited transport options and long distances.
They can also be social, as it can be harder to seek help for a mental health problem in a small community where most people know each other.
According to SAMH, research has found isolation from social networks and support services, combined with an exaggerated culture of self-reliance, may contribute to stress, anxiety and depression in rural areas.
In 2011, the suicide rate for males in Scotland was almost three times that for females, and was a leading cause of mortality in those under 35.
Historically the Highlands has a particular problem with suicide. Although rates are falling, research indicates people's mental health and wellbeing suffers and suicide rates increase in times of economic hardship.
Singer-songwriter Maria Hall, who has also owned various businesses, has suffered mental health problems including mild bipolar disorder and chronic depression.
She said: "At one of my lowest points I was living in a very remote area, I had no family and friends around me, I honestly had nowhere to go.
"Someone gave me a card with a number on it for an emergency phone line, and I cannot describe the intense relief I felt at knowing there was somewhere I could turn, a safety net. I never actually used it, but just knowing I could gave me a lot of comfort.
"In my experience it's very easy to slip into deep depression, particularly in a remote place.
"It's easy to become reclusive. And most drop-in centres and information services are based in the cities, which doesn't help those based in rural Scotland.
"We need more information made available in these areas."
Technology is one way of addressing the problem, particularly as households in rural areas are more likely to have home internet access than those in the rest of Scotland.
Many organisations provide phone and email based services, giving both easy access and anonymity. The internet provides an opportunity for people to connect with others who have had similar experiences.
The Know Where to Go roadshow starts today on The Plainstones in Elgin and in Elgin library, where SAMH will be hosting an information centre.
Carolyn Roberts, head of policy and campaigns at SAMH, said: "If you don't live near a service, or you can only get an appointment at a time when the local bus service isn't running, it can be really hard to get help for a mental health problem."
Tracy Grant, SAMH service manager based in Moray, said, "Living and working in Moray has many advantages, but the mental health services have traditionally been very centralised.
"Working with Moray Council, SAMH has set up social inclusion groups in outlying areas so that people who can't get to a central service still have somewhere to go for help."
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