Monday, January 31, 2022

The Mid-East's Mental Health Care Shortage

A population group, facility or geographic area where access to mental health care is insufficient may be designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a mental health HPSA (health professional shortage area). This HRSA designation can be based on the size of the 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, that serve the community. Currently, most HRSA mental health care shortage designations are based on population size relative to the number of psychiatrists serving the HPSA.  As of December 31, 2021, more than 136.5 million Americans lived in a mental health care shortage area according to HRSA data.

The Mid-East U.S. region, which includes the District of Columbia and five states, had nearly 7.7 million residents living in mental health HPSAs.  This accounted for about 5.6% of the U.S. population who lived in mental health HPSAs as of December 31, 2021.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the Mid-East would need 523 more mental health care providers to eliminate the shortage in the region. The Mid-East's mental health care provider deficit thus represented about 7.6% of the nation's mental health care provider shortage.  A closer examination of December 31, 2021, HRSA data reveals the following state-level details about the Mid-East's mental health care shortage:

The Mid-East's Mental Health Care Shortage

The Mid-East's Mental Health Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
DE 12 261,402 23
DC 10 133,945 28
MD 50 1,334,263 79
NJ 35 40,892 14
NY 182 4,169,792 276
PA 125 1,729,047 103
Region 414 7,669,341 523
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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