A mental health professional shortage area (MHPSA) is an area lacking psychiatrists as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Prior research found the lack of psychiatrists can be directly related to adverse health outcomes. The current investigation focused on the United States by state level and the relationship between MHPSAs, suicide rates, and access to professional counselors. Results from a cross-sectional analysis found MHPSAs were highly correlated with suicide deaths. There was a significant inverse relationship between number of professional counselors in an area and suicide deaths, and being uninsured was highly related to MHPSA and suicide. The results support the need for access to professional counselors. Policies incentivizing professional counselors to work in MHPSAs are needed because of their potential role in minimizing suicide deaths.
Counselors’ Role in Decreasing Suicide in Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas in the United States
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Kaprea F. Johnson, Dana L. Brookover; Counselors’ Role in Decreasing Suicide in Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas in the United States. Journal of Mental Health Counseling 1 April 2020; 42 (2): 170–186. doi: https://doi.org/10.17744/mehc.42.2.06
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