The Arizona Behavioral Health Workforce
The Arizona Behavioral Health Workforce Report is intended to inform Arizona health workforce policies to support a well-distributed and accessible behavioral health workforce. It has two aims: (1) describe behavioral health and access to behavioral healthcare in Arizona, and (2) use workforce data to describe rural and non-rural differences in the distribution of Arizona behavioral healthcare providers. Mental health and substance use disorders contribute to disease burden in the US and are among the leading causes of death. Prevention, early identification, screening, and access to high-quality treatment are public health priorities. Arizona meets just 40% of its current mental health care workforce needs and ranks 47th in in terms of behavioral health workforce availability. There are disparities in workforce across urban and rural areas in Arizona. The behavioral health workforce as measured by provider per 100,000 population ratio is four to five percent higher than the percent of the population living in urban areas than in rural areas for all professions except substance abuse counselors. Psychiatrists mostly practice in urban areas (96.7%), also exceeding the percent of the population living in urban areas (92%) by almost five percent.