Mental health providers

Mental Health Providers is the ratio of the county population to the number of mental health providers including psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, mental health providers that treat alcohol and other drug abuse, and advanced practice nurses specializing in mental health care. In 2015, marriage and family therapists and mental health providers that treat alcohol and other drug abuse were added to this measure.

Measure Tabs

Description
Reason for Ranking

Thirty percent of the population lives in a county designated as a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area. As the mental health parity aspects of the Affordable Care Act create increased coverage for mental health services, many anticipate increased workforce shortages. 

Measurement Strengths and Limitations

These data come from the National Provider Identification data file, which has some limitations. Providers who transmit electronic health records are required to obtain an identification number, but very small providers may not obtain a number. While providers have the option of deactivating their identification number, some mental health professionals included in this list may no longer be practicing or accepting new patients. This may result in an overestimate of active mental health professionals in some communities.