There's a severe shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas
By AJ Willingham and Elizabeth Elkin, CNN
(CNN) - Almost every American will, at some point or another, face a mental health challenge. It may be related to depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse or maybe something more circumstantial like grief over a loss or trouble adjusting to a life change. The CDC reports 43.4 million adults suffered from some sort of behavioral health issue in 2015 alone.
Now, imagine there wasn't a psychiatrist or psychologist for miles around, let alone another specialist who these millions of people could trust with their specific needs. This is what life is like for many Americans in rural communities.
Limited access means care is a last resort
Behavioral health practitioners by county type
Providers per 100,000 people
|Census Division||Psychiatrists||Psychologists||Psychiatric NPs|
Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2018