Behavioral Health in Rural America: Challenges and Opportunities
Rural, Mental Health, Behavioral Health, Access, MRHRC, policy, healthcare services
This paper provides an overview of behavioral health (BH) in rural America. The goal is to help rural leaders and providers understand the issues related to rural mental health (MH) and substance use (SU) and give them resources and tools to develop targeted strategies to address the unique needs of their communities. In the first section, we discuss the prevalence of behavioral health disorders (BHDs) in rural populations generally and among certain high-risk population groups (e.g., veterans, children). We then review what is known about rural access to BH services, focusing on the challenges of providing prevention, treatment, and recovery services in rural areas. The third section focuses on promising program and policy strategies that have been tested in rural communities targeting improvements in rural BH systems. We conclude with a discussion of opportunities for policy and system changes to improve rural BH systems and outcomes.
Executive Summary available as a separate document: http://www.rupri.org/wp-content/uploads/Behavioral-Health-in-Rural-America-Challenges-and-Opportunities-Executive-Summary-.pdf
Helmsley Charitable Trust
Gale J, Janis J, Coburn A, Rochford H. Behavioral Health in Rural America: Challenges and Opportunities. Iowa City, IA: Rural Policy Research Institute; December 2019.