Increasing Access to Rural Behavioral Health Webinar


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Friday, June 4, 2021

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More than 20% of adults—or 1 in 5—experience a behavioral health disorder every year in the United States. Behavioral health disorders can be challenging to identify, screen for and treat, especially in rural communities. The supply of behavioral health providers often cannot meet the demand for services. This NCSL webinar highlighted state policy options to increase access to rural behavioral health services including opportunities to improve crisis hotlines, increase access to opioid use disorder treatment and overdose prevention, leverage emerging health professionals to address workforce gaps, and consider scope of practice and licensing policies for behavioral health professionals.


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  • Kelly Hughes, program director–Access, Costs and Coverage, NCSL
  • Shawnda Schroeder, PhD, MA, research associate professor, Center for Rural Health, UND School of Medicine
  • Andrew J. McLean, MD, MPH, clinical professor and chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Charlie Severance-Medaris, policy specialist, NCSL
  • Sydne Enlund, policy specialist, NCSL

This webinar is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $853,466 with 100% funded by HRSA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.