Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Great Lakes Region's Mental Health Care Shortage

A facility, geographic area, or population group where residents have impaired access to basic mental health care can be designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a mental health HPSA (health professional shortage area). This designation indicates too few mental health care practitioners serve the area relative to the size of the population.  The HPSA designation can be based on an HPSA's population relative to either (a) the number of psychiatrists, or (b) the combined number of psychiatrists and certain other mental health care practitioners (clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, etc.) that serve the setting or area. Most HRSA mental health care shortage designations are based currently on population size relative to the number of psychiatrists that serve a community.  As of December 31, 2021, the HRSA reports that more than 136.5 million Americans lived in a mental health care shortage area.

As of December 31, 2021, the five-state Great Lakes region accounted for about 17.5% of the U.S. population who lived in mental health care shortage areas.  To eliminate the shortage, the HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the Great Lakes region would need 1,044 additional mental health care providers.  The provider deficit in the region accounted for about 15.2% of the overall national shortage of mental health care providers.  A state-level examination of HRSA data reveals the following about the Great Lakes region's mental health care shortage:

The Great Lakes Region's Mental Health Care Shortage

The Great Lakes Region's Mental Health Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
IL 212 9,186,134 399
IN 88 5,367,916 221
MI 248 4,253,792 192
OH 120 2,827,421 128
WI 127 2,226,136 104
Region 795 23,861,399 1,044
U.S. 6,078 136,575,592 6,851

(1) Designated Geographic, Population Group and Facility HPSAs with a mental health care shortage
(2) Population of designated HPSAs
(3) Mental Health Care practitioners needed to remove HPSA Designation

Source:  Designated HPSA Quarterly Summary, 12/31/21 (HRSA)

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