Annual Faculty Lecture Looks at The Global Impact of Rural Mental Health Advocacy

Peacock Auditorium, Biological and Health Sciences Building - 04/10/18 - 04/10/18


Dr. Steve F. Bain

More than one out of six people in the United States live with a diagnosable mental illness. 

For many in the country—including policy makers—mental health care is seen as a separate issue from health care. This separation has led to confusion and a lack of urgency in mental health care. These problems are exacerbated in rural areas, where mental health care options are even more limited. 

The ripple effect of deficient rural mental health care is the topic of the annual Faculty Lecture at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. 

Dr. Steve F. Bain, associate professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, will deliver the presentation “The Global Impact of Rural Mental Health Advocacy” Tuesday, April 10 at 6 p.m. in Peacock Auditorium, located in the Biological and Health Sciences Building on campus. 

The Faculty Lecturer is selected each year by a committee within the university’s Faculty Senate. The chosen lecturer shares a topic of expertise in a format written for general audiences. 

The public is invited to attend this free presentation

The topic of rural mental health care is one that Faculty Lecturer Dr. Steve Bain has been studying for more than two decades. Prior to his time as a university educator, Bain was a pastor at several medium- to large-sized churches which catered, in part, to rural communities. He also was raised in a rural community in Tennessee, adding a personal interest to the topic. “I believe that rural communities play a vital role in the fabric of society,” Bain said. 

He first noticed deficiencies in rural mental health in the 1980s and 1990s, when he started in the ministry and, later, working as a Licensed Professional Counselor.. “We would need mental resources for people in the rural areas I was serving, and those resources were few and far between.” 

When Bain arrived at A&M-Kingsville in the 2000s, he honed his research agenda to focus upon rural communities. He believes one of the first steps toward helping rural communities is developing a one comprehensive definition of the term “rural”. According to Bain, he found 19 different definitions of “rural” within the federal government, leading to obvious complications in the understanding of unique rural community needs. 

He said that recent cutbacks and revisions to health care in the United States typically impact rural communities first. These rural shortages in mental health care are more obvious when looking for specialized care for veterans and seniors, among other groups, Bain added. 

On a global scale, there are similarities in rural mental health challenges. Together with the University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland, Bain is part of a collaborative venture that seeks to identify and implement research-based initiatives designed to provide sustainable mental health intervention strategies for rural populations. 

Attendees of the lecture will learn more about the problems associated with rural mental health care, how the issues Texas is having with rural mental health care affect the entire world, and the ways that A&M-Kingsville is strategically set up to provide training and education to properly equip future mental health care professionals.    

About Dr. Steve F. Bain

Dr. Steve Bain is a Licensed Professional Counselor and LPC Intern Supervisor. Bain serves as an associate professor of counseling and is the department chair for the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. His research interests include rural mental counseling, graduate student success, and self-injurers. 

Bain has authored or co-authored scholarly articles in some 30 refereed publications, and presented at international, national, state, and local academic conferences. 

He holds a Doctor of Ministry in Counseling from Luther Rice University, a Master of Science in Counseling & Personnel Services from the University of Memphis, and a Bachelor of Science in History from the University of North Alabama, Florence.