Why Mental Health Care Deserts Persist for U.S. Children

November 22, 2019

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

PBS NewsHour

While the child psychiatry profession has grown, many children still lack access to mental health care. A new study looked at national data from 2007 to 2016 and found that the number of child psychiatrists increased by more than 20 percent nationwide. However, these providers are concentrated in areas of the country with higher average incomes and education levels. According to the study, 70 percent of U.S. counties do not have child psychiatrists and one in five children lives in counties without one. Children living in areas with lower income and education levels are less likely to have access to mental health care services. To help fill these gaps, researchers are evaluating whether telementoring programs can help family physicians identify and treat patients in need.

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