Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Renee Staton

Robin Anderson


There is a shortage of mental health professionals in rural areas around the world. Current literature on barriers to healthcare professionals choosing to practice in rural areas mainly focuses on medical professionals, with few studies examining the barriers to rural practice for mental health professionals. Along with examining the perceived barriers and enablers to rural mental health practice, researchers wanted to further examine the reliability of the revised Barriers to Rural Mental Health Practice instrument. Researchers distributed the survey to mental health professionals across the United States. Preliminary findings support high internal reliability for the total scale and three of the five subscales. Results from this study also found that mental health professionals generally believe that rural practices do not have the resources to support incoming professionals. There is also a general agreement on including rural training and experience into graduate training. Researchers recommend that rural employers be transparent about all of the possible benefits they may be able to provide. Additionally, incorporating rural training into school curriculum could increase prospective mental health professionals’ awareness of rural areas and get them a foot-in-the-door to working at a rural practice.



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