• mental health services;
  • psychologists;
  • rural environments

Rural areas of the United States continue to struggle to provide residents with adequate access to quality mental health care. Problems with adequately defining rurality for research and policy purposes, a shortage of qualified personnel, a lack of integration between primary-care and specialty mental health services, and stigma associated with mental illness have contributed to the mental health service crisis in rural areas. The assertion is made that psychologists can help to alleviate these problems through specialized training for rural service, the utilization of technology for service delivery, the dissemination of empirically supported treatments, and grassroots advocacy. Furthermore, the advantages and disadvantages of prescription privileges for psychologists and the unclear status of subdoctoral providers are discussed in terms of potential impact on rural areas. Finally, psychologists are encouraged to direct research efforts toward the development and implementation of novel solutions to the service problems in rural areas.