Reporter: Kelly Page. Podcast producer: Jeff Stein
Telehealth or telepsychiatry, with appointments conducted online, are a potential solution to delivering mental health care to farmers in underserved rural regions but many of those regions lack adequate high-speed internet connection, interviews IowaWatch conducted this summer revealed.
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Convincing mental health care specialists to work in rural, small Midwest U.S. towns can be a hard sell. These specialists often don’t want to work in these areas for reasons ranging from a lack of local resources to seeing few options for personal growth that comes from cultural events or entertainment, a series of IowaWatch interviews revealed for a report, “Flood Senses: Meeting Mental Health Care Demands in Flood-Stricken Iowa.”
Yet, that IowaWatch report showed, states like Iowa do not have enough psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists or other mental health care providers to handle an increasing need to care for farmers dealing with relentless flooding this year.
This podcast of an original IowaWatch Connection radio report lets those trying to attract the necessary resources to meet mental health care demand in the flood region tell you about the problem. It includes one health care center that is trying to address the health care worker shortage head-on with a full-time recruiter.