Using Digital Dashboards to Implement and Evaluate Programs

suicide attempts or ideation increased 177%. Rural men between the ages of 35 and 44 have triple the

statewide suicide mortality rate.

Accor ding to Health Research and Service Administration (HRSA), every one of Missouri’s 99 rural

counties has a shortage of mental health professionals (Figure 3). In addition, there are 57 rural

counties in Missouri without a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, leaving large swaths of mental

health deserts throughout rural areas of the state (Figure 4). These geographic barriers to access

result in many rural populations forgoing care altogether or depending on hospital emergency rooms

and other nontraditional services for their behavioral health needs.

Farming households are disproportionately affected by shortages of mental health professionals in

rural areas, with farmers being three times as likely to live in a Mental Health HPSA. With 266 Mental

Health HPSAs in 2019, Missouri has the fifth-highest number of designated Mental Health HPSAs in the

country. And with just 3.7% of the need for mental health professionals met in the state, Missouri has

the largest shortage in the country. (Reidhead et al. 2020 ).

Editor’s Note: For additional information see: Reidhead, M., Medows, J., Dothage, K., Funkenbusch, K.,

Davis, C., Williams, S., Gowdy, R. N. & Greimann, A. (2020, February) Growing Stress on the Farm: The

Expanding Economic and Mental Health Disparities in Rural Missouri. Centers for Disease Control Stats of

the State - Suicide Mortality by State; Centers for Disease Control Wonder database; Missouri Institute of

Mental Health Report.


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