Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Southeast's Mental Health Care Shortage

A population group, facility, or geographic area where access to mental health care providers is poor can be designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a health professional shortage area (HPSA) for mental health care services. This 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 (clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, etc.) that serve the community. Currently, most HRSA mental health care shortage designations are based on population size relative to the number of psychiatrists.  As of December 31, 2022, more than 158.4 million Americans lived in a mental health care shortage area according to HRSA data.

The twelve-state Southeast region accounted for about 28.7% of the U.S. population who lived in mental health care shortage areas as of December 31, 2022.  The HRSA estimates that HPSAs in the Southeast would need 2,451 more mental health care providers in order to eliminate that shortage. The Southeast's shortage of mental health providers thus represented about 30.8% of the nation's mental health care provider shortage.  A closer study of December 31, 2022, HRSA data reveals the following about the Southeast's mental health care shortage:

The Southeast's Mental Health Care Shortage

The Southeast's Mental Health Care Shortage

State (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
AL 75 4,884,042 241
AR 69 1,373,044 75
FL 237 9,144,127 535
GA 94 6,040,851 217
KY 140 3,867,642 215
LA 170 3,627,424 166
MS 91 3,188,003 188
NC 204 3,922,628 225
SC 77 2,272,722 106
TN 76 3,464,416 261
VA 108 2,828,359 132
WV 115 788,226 90
Region 1,456 45,401,484 2,451
U.S. 6,599 158,413,168 7,957
% of U.S. 22.1% 28.7% 30.8%

(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, 12/31/22 (HRSA)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let us know what you think about today's commentary!