This Mental Health Desert Analysis increases awareness of an undertreated issue with significant barriers: that many Americans across the country lack basic access to mental health care. We aim to identify those communities and publicize how geography can contribute to public health concerns. Our Mental Health Desert Analysis identifies multiple locations in the United States where mental health resources are severely deficient and may constitute a significant barrier to care for millions of Americans.
Specifically, this data layer includes:
- The mental health clinic locations throughout the U.S.
- The count of mental health clinics by County throughout the U.S.
Additional data layers available upon request include:
- The count of mental health clinics by distance (e.g., 5 miles, 10 miles, 50 miles) to population centers.
- The count of mental health clinics by population (per 100,000 people) throughout the U.S.
- County Health Rankings at the county level and the percentage of the population in poor to fair health.
- Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) by county.
- The suicide rate and the average distance to a clinic by county.
- Health equity implications of mental health care deserts.
All of the above data layers and analysis are available at the state or regional levels. Customized analyses of mental health care deserts can also be performed to meet specific needs.
This analysis, part of our wider Care Desert Initiative series, is a first and important step in increasing the awareness of our policy makers to this often, under publicized problem. HSR.health hopes to lead the way in revealing how our geography can contribute to both health problems and likewise, health solutions.