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A Shortage in Mental Health Staffing: Working Through the Solutions

It’s no secret that there is a significant need for mental health and psychiatric care, but an underwhelming amount of medical staff to meet this need. The shortage of mental health staffing is quickly becoming a crisis, and more people are heading to the ER for help because they simply can’t find it anywhere else.

It seems like you either have to accept long waiting lists or fight with insurance and doctors to try to get help. Finding mental health care is more challenging than ever. What do we do about it?

The Mental Health Crisis

It doesn’t matter where you are: when your teen needs help, you may struggle to find it. For children, teens, and adults alike, finding psychiatric care is nearly impossible. You could call dozens of places before you even find one accepting new patients.

Meanwhile, depression, anxiety, and suicide rates are on the rise. How can someone get help when there is little help to be found? What led to this shortage of providers?

Psychiatrists are not known for making big money. In recent years, they’ve been forced to take on heavy workloads, and they aren’t seeing any type of increase to benefit them. It’s a challenging field. Many in the workforce are getting older and seeking retirement or simply leaving the industry altogether. In rural areas and big cities, finding care for mental health needs is a struggle.

The truth is that mental health providers and their support staff are in short supply. Counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, and more are hard to find. But the shortage of psychiatrists is what really hurts the most, since they are able to prescribe medicine for mental health treatment.

With this shortage, many people feel forced to go to the ER just to get basic help or in desperate times.

Finding the Solutions

Many states are taking the initiative to find plausible solutions. They are providing support to the primary care doctors who are trying to pick up the slack. They are also providing additional resources to seek mental health care. They are working with third-party providers such as SouthlandMD to bring in additional staff to care for their patients.

Some of the resources for local providers include adding a hotline for doctors to consult for specialty help in psychiatry. You can also find established weekend training programs and get involved with collaborative care models that provide a consultant or resource for psychiatry. Providers like SouthlandMD work in conjunction with hospitals and behavioral health facilities management and staff to provide the best operational solutions and care team in both the mental health and medical setting.

When it comes to mental health staffing, it is important to review surrounding resources to find a solution that can help in your area. Whether that means working with a third party like SouthlandMD to collaborate or provide telehealth solutions or helping train new psychiatrists, you need to be aware of the options.

Mental Health Staffing

The good news is that there are more medical students seeking psychiatry degrees. We just have to be patient as these students finish school, go through residency, and establish themselves in practice. Relief is on the way.

SouthlandMD works in conjunction with hospitals and behavioral health facilities management and staff to provide the best operational solutions and care team in both the mental health and medical setting.

If you’re looking for a solution to address a shortage of mental health staffing, consider SouthlandMD.  We can provide psychiatrists and management services to facilities to handle the therapy sessions for both inpatient and outpatient. Our experienced behavioral health providers work closely with your team to develop a structured environment and treatment plans for easier staff collaboration and patient mental health assessments.