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Behavioral Health Work Receives National Attention

Jun 7, 2021

More than 20% of adults – or one in five – experience a behavioral health disorder every year in the U.S. These numbers put a heavy burden on state and community resources. The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) hosted a webinar June 4 to highlight state policy options for legislators aiming to increase access to rural behavioral health services. Two faculty members from the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) were asked to share their research and perspectives with the national group.


Shawnda Schroeder, PhD, is a research associate professor and associate director of research and evaluation at the Center for Rural Health within the UND SMHS. Andrew J. McLean, MD, is a clinical professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at UND SMHS.

Shawnda Schroeder "This was an excellent opportunity," Schroeder said, "to share with state-level decision makers the barriers that exist to accessing behavioral healthcare among rural residents. These are the conversations that can lead to strong, data-driven policy decisions that truly support the advancement of behavioral healthcare delivery in rural areas."

About NCSL

NCSL represents the legislatures in the states, territories, and commonwealths of the U.S. Its mission is to advance the effectiveness, independence, and integrity of legislatures and to foster interstate cooperation and facilitate the exchange of information among legislatures.