States with the greatest need for mental health providers

Though the mental health provider shortage is a national issue, some states have a more significant shortage than others, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

States experiencing a shortage of psychiatrists are officially designated health professional shortage areas. According to federal regulations, a state is classified as a mental health provider shortage area when its population-to-provider ratio is below 30,000 to 1, with an exception if a community has unusually high needs, in which case it is below 20,000 to 1.

This data only considers the number of working psychiatrists in an area to determine if a state is an HPSA; it does not take into account the number of mental health services provided by providers such as clinical psychologists, social work psychiatric nurse specialists, and marriage and family specialists.

For the U.S. as a whole to no longer be considered an HPSA, it needs to add 6,559 psychiatrists. 

Below are the 10 states that need to add the most new providers to remove the health professional shortage classification, ranked from high to low. 

State

Psychiatrists needed to remove HPSA designation

Texas

673

California

618

Florida

382

Illinois

325

New York 

272

Tennessee

247

North Carolina

199

Mississippi

198

Indiana

197

Georgia

192




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