Challenges and Opportunities Associated With Rural Mental Health Practice

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This manuscript outlines the challenges and opportunities associated with rural mental health practice, and provides descriptive data on the scope of care, area of competence, and clinical training of a group of practitioners providing services in rural central Appalachia. Thematic content analysis reveals ethical challenges encountered, job satisfaction, and the pinnacles and pitfalls of mental health care practice in the region. Implications for training, recruiting, and retaining practitioners to work in underserved rural settings are described. The authors highlight a number of areas that need additional research attention in order to address remaining questions relevant to clinical practice in rural settings.

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