In almost all rural and frontier areas, health care practitioners, services and infrastructure are in short supply. The population is small and is disproportionately older. These areas have low household incomes, relatively high unemployment rates and high poverty rates. Unfortunately, they also have a high proportion of the population that lacks health insurance or has inadequate coverage. Providing behavioral health care services to rural residents is further complicated by the presence of stigma.
Members of the APA Committee on Rural Health (CRH) and staff members of the APA Practice Directorate work in conjunction with the affiliated state, provincial, and territorial psychological associations, federal and state agencies, national organizations with an interest in rural populations, and the U.S. Congress and State Legislatures to advance the cause of improved behavioral health care for rural Americans.