Sunday, February 6, 2022

America's Mental Health Care Shortage by Region

As of December 31, 2021, more than 136.5 million Americans lived in a setting designated as a mental health care HPSA (health professional shortage area) by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). An HPSA is a population group, facility or geographic area where residents have poor access to mental health care because too few mental health care practitioners serve the community. 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.) working in the community. Most HRSA mental health care shortage designations are based currently on population size relative to the number of psychiatrists serving the HPSA.  The HRSA estimates that mental health care shortage areas in the U.S. have a deficit of 6,851 mental health practitioners as of December 31, 2021.

Here is a summary look at America's mental health care shortage by region (for state-level details, follow the "region" link):

Region (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
Far West
1,299 21,203,311 1,065
Great Lakes
795 23,861,399 1,044
Great Plains
800 9,126,811 410
414 7,669,341 523
New England
205 2,236,324 122
Rocky Mountain
332 9,641,609 381
1,310 38,462,071 2,104
855 22,158,535 1,049
U.S. Territories
68 2,216,191 153
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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