New Brief: Provision of Mental Health Services by Critical Access Hospital-Based Rural Health Clinics

Residents of rural communities face longstanding access barriers to mental health (MH) services due to chronic shortages of specialty MH providers, long travel distances to services, increased likelihood of being uninsured or under-insured, limited choice of providers, and high rates of stigma. As a result, rural residents rely more heavily on primary care providers and local acute care hospitals to meet their MH needs than do urban residents. This reality highlights the importance of integrating primary care and MH services to improve access to needed care in rural communities. Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are ideally positioned to help meet rural MH needs as 60 percent manage at least one Rural Health Clinic (RHC). RHCs receive Medicare cost-based reimbursement for a defined package of services including those provided by doctoral-level clinical psychologists (CPs) and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs).

This policy brief explores the extent to which CAH-based RHCs are employing CPs and/or LCSWs to provide MH services, describes models of MH services implemented by CAH-based RHCs, examines their successes and challenges in doing so, and provides a resource to assist CAH and RHC leaders in developing MH services. It also provides a resource for State Flex Programs to work with CAH-based RHCs in the development of MH services.

**The report may accessed on the Flex Monitoring Team website.



June 30, 2020

Help Spread #WellChildWednesdays to Encourage Parents to Keep Up with Pediatric Checkups and Immunizations.

CDC data show that fewer children are receiving timely immunizations this year compared to last year. Declines in vaccination coverage can leave young children and communities vulnerable to otherwise preventable diseases like measles.

To encourage parents and stakeholders to keep up with these important well-child visits and immunizations, HRSA launched a new social media campaign with the hashtag #WellChildWednesdays. Each Wednesday for four weeks, messages will address well-child visits, immunizations, adolescent and young adult care, and nutrition, safety, and mental health as topics to be discussed with pediatric providers.

Health centers can encourage families to maintain well-child visits and immunizations by communicating directly with families. One easy way to do so is by sharing HRSA’s #WellChildWednesdays posts on your health center’s social media.

The first messages have already posted, and more messages will appear on Twitter and Facebook with the handle @HRSAgov and #WellChildWednesdays. Please share, retweet, and promote the hashtag #WellChildWednesdays to help us to amplify this important message!

Identifying Vulnerable Rural Populations During COVID-19: The CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index

New issue brief describes the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and how it can be applied in monitoring vulnerable populations during COVID-19.

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as we see a surge in new cases across the country, it’s difficult to be proactive while being reactive. The SVI offers an opportunity to quickly identify populations of rural residents that could most benefit from currently available resources – allowing you to address current need while also focusing on prevention.

With support from the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, NOSORH developed this Issue Brief for State Offices of Rural Health and other rural health stakeholders as a means of using data to target resources where they are needed most during COVID-19.

The issue brief offers an overview of the SVI and how it’s calculated, identifies indicators that highlights populations at high risk for spread of COVID-19 and indicators of those at high risk of infection.

Grants 101 Virtual Workshop

Date: June 17, 2020

Time: 9:00 AM – 4:45 PM Central

Workshop Topics at a Glance

  • Federal grant application process
  • Federal and local funding opportunities
  • HRSA grant resources and technical assistance
  • Common mistakes and tips for creating a successful grant application

Who Should Attend?

Community and faith-based organizations, hospitals, health centers, rural health clinics, community colleges, and public health departments interested in learning how to register for federal funding opportunities, where to find those opportunities, and how to create a more competitive grant proposal.


If you have questions, please contact