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Behavioral Health is a Major Issue in Rural America

Behavioral Health is a Major Issue in Rural America

Poor access to mental healthcare prompts increased behavioral health emergencies and greater costs of care.

Rural communities face enough challenges with access to basic medical care. Accessing behavioral health has become increasingly difficult for every population, yet those in rural areas face obstacles of grand proportions.

Data doesn’t lie, and there’s new information to validate the scope of behavioral health treatment gaps across rural America. Mental Health America released its 2020 rankings, using 15 measures that encompassed treatment quality for children, youth, and adults with:

  • Any Mental Illness
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Serious Thoughts of Suicide
  • Reporting of Unmet Needs
  • Uninsured Status
  • Cognitive Disability who Could Not See a Doctor Due to Costs
  • Lack of access to Mental Health Services
  • Inconsistent Treatment
  • Private Insurance that didn’t Cover Mental or Emotional Problems

Also explored were students identified with emotional disturbance for an individualized education program, and mental health workforce availability (true provider deserts).

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Case Studies

I’m pleased because I don’t have to make a 4 ½-hour drive to get my infusion. It’s great that we can now have the therapy that I needed right here.

Walter

I’m very fortunate and so grateful for everything the center does for me. The wait is short and I’m in and out in no time. Without this local service, I couldn’t keep my job. I wouldn’t be able to take care of my family or enjoy my life.

CIS Rural Patient

They monitored me, they took care of me. The infection that was causing the pain began to go away. I can tell you now I’m able to stand on both legs. After the infusion therapy, I was able to resume the activity that I truly enjoy, playing the guitar and exploring the wonders of music.

Stanley

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