Treatment Access in Urban v.s. Rural Counties

Over 115 million people in the United States live in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas. These are areas in which the ratio of mental health professionals to residents is smaller than 1 per 30,000 people.

Shortages are more likely to occur in rural areas due to lack of funding and infrastructure. Many counties have no mental health professionals at all.

Meanwhile, cities are likely to have more professionals than average and may even see a saturation of workers.

Which Regions in America Have the Most Providers?

The shortage is more pronounced in certain regions of the country. Measuring only the prevalence of psychologists:

Concerns for the Future: Which Professions Are Most At Risk?

Different professions are projected to be more vulnerable to shortages in the future. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that by 2025, the U.S. will have a shortage of:

These shortages can be attributed to both dwindling supply and growing demand. In general, professionals are aging out of these fields quicker than they are being replaced by younger professionals. However, population growth and expanding insurance coverage suggest greater numbers of people will seek mental health treatment in the future.

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