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Rural Behavioral Health Programs and Promising Practices


This report provides information and tools to help improve rural behavioral health programs. It documents a study to identify innovative rural programs and uses the results to suggest basic tools for helping rural organizations take the steps necessary to move a program that is perceived to be effective into a promising practice. This report provides an overview of tools such as community building, grant writing, data collection, and program definition, which may prove useful to organizations that are interested in having their unique and innovative behavioral health programs make the transition to promising practices.

This report is primarily targeted toward providers but is meant to apply to a range of individuals: 
  • Providers can learn about data collection and analysis, community engagement, and grant writing.
  • Policymakers can learn what rural organizations need to implement and develop promising practices, and how this information is instructive for legislative changes to support these efforts. 
  • Researchers can learn what research tools providers need for effective evaluation of rural practices.
  • Consumers can learn what to look for in evaluating whether a given practice is effective in their treatment and whether it would be a good fit for their behavioral health concerns.

Links to the Tool:
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Health Resources and Services Administration

Funding Sources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Rural Health Policy

QualityTool Topic



  • Release Date: 07/2011
  • Original Summary: 10/2013
Disclaimer: The inclusion of a tool in the Innovations Exchange does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or Westat of the tool or of the submitter or developer of the tool. Read more.

Last updated: December 04, 2013.