The Hidden Crisis in Rural America



It’s prohibitively difficult to access mental health services in rural America. That’s because, relative to urban areas, rural counties have so few mental health professionals. The majority of non-metropolitan counties in the U.S. don’t have a psychiatrist, and almost half lack a psychologist. The paucity has resulted in a veritable public-health crisis—rural Americans suffering from a psychiatric condition are more likely to encounter police than receive treatment. Each year, 2 million mentally ill Americans, most of whom aren’t violent criminals, end up in jail. Read more:

“Out of Sight, Out of Mind” was directed by James Burns. It is an Independent Lens “Stories for Justice” production ( in association with Terry Greene Sterling and the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.

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