Rural Behavioral Health
Telehealth Challenges and Opportunities
This In Brief looks at common acceptability, availability, and accessibility barriers to mental and substance use disorder (behavioral health) treatment and services in rural*
* There are many definitions of rural, even within the federal government.17 This In Brief uses the word rural in a general sense to refer to areas of the United States that are sparsely populated communities and presents ways telehealth can
help surmount some of these barriers.
Challenges to implementing effective telehealth services in sparsely populated areas are also discussed. This information is designed to be useful to behavioral health practitioners and many other professionals—such as attorneys, behavioral health training program faculty, clergy, pharmacists, and primary care practitioners—who are concerned with behavioral health in their communities.