As the majority of licensed professional psychologists concentrate in urban areas and university settings, mental health service delivery to members of rural communities is inadequate and, in some areas, unavailable. Three primary difficulties with mental health service delivery in rural America include availability of, access to, and acceptance of psychological services. In addition, the practice of rural psychology places many unique demands on psychologists. Professional and personal isolation, ethical dilemmas associated with dual relationships, and problems with confidentiality, are some of the issues which challenge rural practitioners. This paper examines the current need for and difficulties with mental health service delivery in rural areas, and makes recommendations for recruitment, preparation and training of professional psychologists to work in rural communities.
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