Committee on Rural Health Mission

Vision Statement

The vision of the APA Committee on Rural Health is to achieve the full and optimal impact of the science, practice and advocacy of psychology in rural America. To this end, the Committee envisions the integration of rural perspectives in APA policy and removal of barriers to comprehensive health care for rural communities.

Mission Statement

The mission of CRH is to improve rural health care through psychology and to make psychologists more aware of rural perspectives. Target areas include:

  • Advocating to ensure availability of behavioral health care for rural citizens and the parity of behavioral care with physical health services.

  • Supporting APA initiatives to gain Prescriptive Authority for psychologists to ensure that the full range of treatment is available to rural citizens.

  • Developing specific techniques for use at community levels that address the high prevalence and unique aspects of mental health issues in rural communities.

  • Promoting telehealth systems to deliver care to rural citizens who otherwise have severely limited access and also to provide specialized consultation to rural providers and patients.

  • Improving methods of rural recruitment, retention, and distribution of psychologists to ensure the adequacy of psychological services to rural residents.

  • Developing distance education models to ensure behavioral health training opportunities regardless of location.

  • Identifying and promoting employment and reimbursement strategies that increase psychological services for rural residents.

  • Encouraging interdisciplinary models of collaborative care to maximize efficiency and to reduce behavioral health care stigma in rural areas.

  • Meeting the multicultural and linguistic needs of diverse populations in rural areas.

  • Acknowledging and respecting traditional and non-traditional healing practices in rural areas.