Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Rural Mental Health – News

News stories from the past 60 days.

Mar 24, 2023 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will hold a joint meeting of the National Advisory Councils, the Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS), and the Tribal Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC) on April 15, 2023. Agenda items include remarks from the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use; updates by the SAMHSA Centers and Office Directors; a presentation and discussion addressing the Children's Mental Health Crisis; discussion/feedback on how to improve the mental health and substance use disorders services during a public health emergency; and a presentation and discussion on the impact on fentanyl in American communities. Registration is required to attend the meeting.
Source: Federal Register
Mar 24, 2023 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Advisory Council (NAC) will hold a virtual public meeting on April 27, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Eastern. Agenda items include remarks from the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, updates on SAMHSA priorities, follow up on topics from the previous meeting, updates on SAMHSA priorities, and other council discussions. Registration is required to attend the meeting, and those interested in making oral presentations must contact Carlos Castillo with the request by April 19, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Mar 22, 2023 - Interview with West Virginia healthcare providers, discussing challenges in rural areas including provider shortages, lack of preventive care, and distances patients must travel to see a provider.
Source: PBS News Hour
Mar 21, 2023 - According to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, 58 of the state's 83 counties experienced a shortage of psychiatrists, as of August 2020. Many of those counties are located in rural mid- and northern Michigan. Stigma and transportation issues can be barriers to care.
Source: News Channel 3
Mar 20, 2023 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services National Advisory Council (CMHS NAC) will hold a virtual public meeting on April 25, 2023. Agenda items include updates from the SAMHSA CMHS director and discussions on Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, school based mental health services, the Mental Health Block Grant, Black youth suicide prevention activities, and a discussion on CMHS/SAMHSA Response to Disasters.
Source: Federal Register
Mar 18, 2023 - Describes a telemental health program for patients in nursing homes and assisted living centers in rural Iowa. Providers predict demand for remote mental health services will continue to increase in rural nursing homes.
Source: Kaiser Health News, USA Today
Mar 17, 2023 - Oregon's coastal and rural communities have higher rates of deaths from overdoses, alcohol use, and suicides, compared with the more urban parts of the state. Oregon State University's Coast to Forest initiative helps people learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health distress and how to respond.
Source: OPB
Mar 16, 2023 - Announces that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded 15 states each with $1 million, one-year Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) planning grants. CCBHCs were created to transform mental health and substance use treatment and provide sustainable funding for robust community outpatient mental health treatment.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mar 15, 2023 - The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will hold a public meeting of the Tribal Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC) on April 25, 2023. SAMHSA TTAC provides a venue wherein Tribal leadership and SAMHSA staff can exchange information about public health issues, identify urgent mental health and substance abuse needs, and discuss collaborative approaches to addressing these behavioral health issues and needs. Meeting information will be posted on the SAMHSA Council's website. Pre-registration is required.
Source: Federal Register
Mar 15, 2023 - Describes the work of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECC) Connect program, which provides support for elderly veterans and their caregivers. GRECC Connect allows veterans to receive real-time virtual care from geriatricians, eliminating the need to travel long distances for specialty care.
Source: VA News
Mar 13, 2023 - A recent report created in partnership with the Center for Rural Behavioral Health and Minnesota State University Mankato indicates that Minnesota is experiencing an unprecedented demand for mental health services, and rural Minnesota is being hit especially hard. Five percent of Minnesota mental health counselors are in small towns, and 2% are in isolated rural areas.
Source: Agweek
Mar 13, 2023 - Leaders in the Van Far R1 School District in Audrain County, Missouri are trying to help lessen the mental health crisis by prioritizing students' mental health in the classroom. College students studying counseling complete lab hours at the schools, and telehealth resources are also used.
Source: KOMU
Mar 6, 2023 - Researchers at the University of Oklahoma have received a five-year $5.6 million grant which will pay for counselors, social workers, and behavior analysts to attend graduate school, as well as cover fees and costs in the program. Graduates agree to serve two years in a rural, high-need school for every year they received program funding.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Mar 2, 2023 - New Mexico House Bill 373 passed unanimously through the House Health and Human Services Committee. This legislation would allow law enforcement to take New Mexicans to crisis triage centers for help with mental health needs, rather than to jails or hospitals. Some lawmakers are concerned about how this bill would apply to areas in rural New Mexico which lack crisis centers and have neither resources nor staff to set them up.
Source: Source NM
Mar 2, 2023 - Describes Psychiatric Advanced Practice Registered Nurse TechNology-Enhanced Residency (PARTNER), a Medical University of South Carolina-led program that pairs board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners with patients in rural areas through telemedicine. The program has treated and diagnosed almost 100 different behavioral health conditions over the course of more than 1,600 patient visits.
Source: Medical University of South Carolina
Mar 2, 2023 - The Veterans Administration (VA) announced the availability of grants to community-based organizations that offer suicide prevention services for veterans and their families. This includes conducting veteran mental health screenings, providing case management and peer support services, delivering emergency clinical services, reaching out to veterans at risk of suicide, and more.
Source: VA News
Feb 17, 2023 - Montana governor Gov. Greg Gianforte announced a $2.1 million grant to the Rural Behavioral Health Institute to provide free optional mental health and substance abuse screenings for all schools statewide and same-day care for students flagged as being at high risk for suicide. The money will come from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Grant program, funded by federal COVID relief aid.
Source: Kaiser Health News
Feb 17, 2023 - A new report addresses the demand for and shortages of mental health services in rural Minnesota, based on survey data and interviews with leaders in rural mental health. The report calls for upfront tuition reimbursement programs and for states to buoy the expansion of mental health-related programs.
Source: Behavioral Health Business
Feb 16, 2023 - The Indian Health Service is accepting applications for a single cooperative agreement for the IHS Zero Suicide Initiative Coordinating Center. The "Zero Suicide" model focuses on developing a system-wide approach to improving care for individuals at risk of suicide who are currently using health and behavioral health systems. The Zero Suicide Initiative Coordinating Center will provide technical assistance in the areas of data collection, reporting, training, resources, and implementation of the Zero Suicide approach in Indian Country. Applications are due by April 17, 2023.
Source: Federal Register
Feb 9, 2023 - A University of Oklahoma program will pay tuition for educators who want to provide mental health services for students, using funds from a $5.6 million grant. Over the next five years the grant will be used to train 64 future mental health professionals who already serve in rural schools.
Source: News9
Feb 1, 2023 - Announces that Senators John Barrasso, Tina Smith, Marsha Blackburn, and Michael Bennet have introduced The Rural Health Clinic Burden Reduction Act to provide regulatory relief for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs). The bill gives RHCs guidance regarding the use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, improves the ability of RHCs to provide mental health services, and removes outdated lab requirements.
Source: Office of Senator John Barrasso
Feb 1, 2023 - A study published in The Lancet says that premature "deaths of despair" have affected American Indian and Alaska Native communities more than white communities. American Indians and Alaska Native people were not surveyed in a 2015 study that looked at death rates for 45-54 year-olds from 1999-2013.
Source: NPR
Jan 26, 2023 - The Teachers and Parents as Partners program trains school psychologists and other specialists to encourage communication between parents and educators, to help solve children's behavioral and academic challenges. The project is in the midst of a five-year research project to create an online version designed specifically to help rural districts.
Source: NewsNation
Jan 24, 2023 - In July 2022 the federal government launched the 988 Suicide Prevention Hotline, enabling people experiencing a mental health crisis to connect with professionals and services. The real launch will occur this summer, and rural communities are preparing for an increase in calls by training operators how to provide help to farmers and other rural residents.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Jan 24, 2023 - Highlights a report from GoodRx Research, stating that more than 113,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) live in 492 counties that lack mental health providers. The study also found that counties with a higher population of AI/AN residents had a lower percentage of households with access to telehealth. States with the highest numbers of mental health deserts are Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Alaska. South Dakota and Alaska are among the states with highest numbers of AI/AN residents living in mental health deserts.
Source: The Daily Yonder

Last Updated: 3/24/2023