What access to mental health care looks like in Marshall County, Mississippi

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January 19, 2024

What access to mental health care looks like in Marshall County, Mississippi

The country's mental health is taking center stage in the minds of Americans as the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic fades into the background.

In the U.S., 53% of adults said mental health was their top health concern, according to an Ipsos poll published this fall. They join residents of 30 other countries polled by Ipsos reporting similar concerns about health in their nations. That increase in concern is, in part, a result of the traumatic, isolating effects of the pandemic heightening the attention Americans pay to their own mental health, experts say.

"You have an increased awareness of the importance of it, you have an increase in people seeking it, and you now have an increased number of people realizing they're having challenges accessing it," Texas Counseling Association president Katherine Bacon, who holds a doctorate in counselor education, told Stacker.

It's a challenge felt most acutely by about 30% of the U.S. population that lives in an area with a federally designated shortage of mental health providers, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

To identify areas of the country most in need of solutions for expanded mental health care access, Stacker analyzed data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Census Bureau, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to break down mental health care access in Marshall County, Mississippi.

This analysis includes 2022 statistics on each county's uninsured population and the number of poor mental health days per month that residents report. The analysis does not account for around 200 counties for which there was no data on mental health care providers.

Marshall County by the numbers
- There are 3066:1 residents for every mental health care provider
- Residents report an average of 5.3 poor mental health days per month
- About 14% of residents lack health insurance

Counties with the least access to mental health care in Mississippi
- #1. Walthall County: 13,836 residents for every mental health care provider
- #2. Calhoun County: 13,018
- #3. Lawrence County: 11,812

This story features data reporting and writing by Dom DiFurio and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 2,924 counties.

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