“People living with a mental health issue have drastically limited opportunities in non-urban areas for mental health services,” said Bristow. “Most mental health professionals practice in metropolitan areas leaving more than 60% of rural Americans living in mental health professional shortage areas. By providing more incentives to students and professionals in the mental health care field to practice in underserved areas, we can create greater access to the care that many residents need.”
Bristow’s House Bill 4755 would allow medical students in the areas of psychiatry to qualify for the same scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs currently offered to medical students under the Underserved Physician Workforce Act. The program provides incentives of scholarship money and preferred loan plans for Illinois medical students who demonstrate a financial need and will choose to practice in a rural area currently underserved by medical professionals.
“As a member of the House Mental Health Committee, the incentives of increasing access to mental health care and treatment remain one of my top priorities, and I want to ensure that every person who needs proper care can receive it,” said Bristow. “This legislation will not only help deserving medical students gain more scholarships for their education, but help retain medical professionals in our state and create greater access for citizens in rural and underserved communities across Illinois.”
For additional information, please contact Bristow’s constituent service office at 217-782-5996 or email RepMBristow@gmail.com.