Report Finds Access To Mental Health Care Uneven
The ability to access a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider can vary dramatically depending on where you live, a new report finds.
Some counties in the United States have one mental health provider for every 72 people, while others have as few as one for every 55,969 residents.
The findings come from the County Health Rankings, an annual report produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute assessing everything from smoking and high school graduation rates to levels of unemployment and physical activity to determine which American counties are the healthiest.
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Overall, the ranking found that people living in the Northeast and the West have the greatest access to mental health providers.
Nationwide, however, the average county has just one mental health provider for every 1,620 people. The healthiest counties have 1.3 times as many counselors as the least healthy counties, the report indicated.
This year’s ranking is the first to address disparities in access to mental health care. For the report, providers in the field included psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, counselors and advanced practice nurses specializing in mental health.