Modeling the Mental Health Workforce in Washington State: Using State Licensing Data to Examine Provider Supply in Rural and Urban Areas

Journal of Rural Health

The authors sought to identify mental health shortage areas using existing licensing and survey data, and found that notable shortages of mental health providers existed throughout the state, especially in rural areas. Urban areas had 3 times the psychiatrist full-time equivalents (FTEs) per 100,000 and more than 1.5 times the nonpsychiatrist mental health provider FTEs per 100,000 as rural areas. More than 80% of rural health service areas had at least 10% fewer psychiatrist FTEs and nonpsychiatrist mental health provider FTEs than the state ratio. They concluded that states gathering a minimum database at licensure renewal can identify area-specific mental healthcare shortages for use in program planning.

WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
Laura-Mae Baldwin, Miriam Patanian, Eric Larson, Denise Lishner, Larry Mauksch, Wayne Katon, Edward Walker, Gary Hart