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Shortage of Mental Health Professionals Gets Severe

·3 min read

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology Seeks More Resources to Meet Growing Need

Los Angeles --News Direct-- The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

At a time when we need them most, psychologists and other mental health professionals are harder to find—resulting in a severe shortage of behavior health providers in the U.S. Government agencies estimate half of those who need psychological services are not able to access them.

“Many people who desperately need support are finding they have few options,” said Dr. Michele Nealon, Psy.D., President of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “At a time when more people need mental health counseling, we have fewer professionals to meet the need.”

According to Dr. Nealon, the widening gap means that someone who needs counseling may have to wait months to see a specialist. In Los Angeles County, a national search last year to fill 83 vacant mental health positions yielded only 13 candidates, reports the Public Health Department.

A Harvard University study recently found just 17 percent of phone calls placed to get an appointment with a mental health counselor were successful.

The shortage, which has existed for more than a decade, has grown worse since the pandemic prompted thousands of therapists to take early retirement or leave the field entirely. This shortage is now exacerbated by a global 25 percent increase in depression, trauma, and anxiety resulting from the pandemic, inflation, war, and mass violence, according to the World Health Organization.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration reports that we “need to add 10,000 providers to each of seven separate mental healthcare professions by 2025 to meet the expected growth in demand.”

“At The Chicago School, we are training more than 6,000 professionals every year to fill the need, especially in underserved communities of color and in rural areas,” said Dr. Nealon. “There needs to be a greater investment in this country in mental health institutions and prospective counselors so that we create a continuous pipeline to these communities.”

The training for a psychologist or counselor typically requires two to five years of post-bachelor’s degree studies, so there will take time for the supply of new therapists to catch up with demand. With growing acceptance of mental health services, the gap is even greater for culturally competent therapists who understand specific communities, such as LGBTQIA+ and ethnic/racial minorities.

“Two out of three students at The Chicago School identify as people of color,” Dr. Nealon noted. “These are the professionals who are most critical to addressing our mental health crisis in the long run.”

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Integrating theory with hands-on experience, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology provides education rooted in a commitment to innovation, service, and community for thousands of diverse students across the United States and globally. Founded in 1979, the nonprofit, regionally accredited university now features campuses in iconic locations across the country (Chicago, Southern California, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Dallas) and online.

TCSPP continues to expand its educational offerings beyond the field of psychology to offer more than 30 degrees and certificates in the professional fields of health services, nursing, education, counseling, business, and more. Through its engaged professional model of education, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and an extensive network of international partner institutions, The Chicago School’s students receive real-world training opportunities that reflect their future careers. The Chicago School is a proud affiliate of TCS, a nonprofit system of colleges advancing student success and community impact. To learn more, visit www.thechicagoschool.edu.

Contact Details

The Chicago School of Professional Professional Psychology

Vivien Hao

+1 323-893-4743

vhao@thechicagoschool.edu

View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/shortage-of-mental-health-professionals-gets-severe-142716309