Encouraging Rural Health Clinics to Provide Mental Health Services


This study examined changes in the delivery of mental health services by Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), their operational characteristics, barriers to the development of services, and policy options to encourage more RHCs to deliver mental health services.

Key Findings:

  • Approximately 6% of independent and 2% of provider-based RHCs offer mental health services.
  • 38% of study RHCs reported their mental health services were not profitable but continued to provide them in response to community and patient needs.
  • An important factor in the development of RHC mental health services is the presence of a local champion who spearheads the development effort.
Maine Rural Health Research Center
John Gale, David Hartley, Barbara Shaw, Stephanie Loux