Tuesday, May 9, 2023

America's Mental Health Care Shortage by Region

As of December 31, 2022, more than 158.4 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 7,957 mental health practitioners as of December 31, 2022.

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

America's Mental Health Care Shortage by Region

Region (1) HPSAs (2) Population (3) Shortage
Far West
1,352 23,649,443 1,225
Great Lakes
907 29,474,625 1,295
Great Plains
871 10,574,043 482
469 10,932,069 688
New England
222 3,016,117 151
Rocky Mountain
343 9,648,423 372
1,456 45,401,484 2,451
890 23,035,246 1,115
U.S. Territories
89 2,681,718 178
U.S. 6,599 158,413,168 7,957

(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)

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