As more Americans seek mental health treatment, outsized demand is taking a toll on the entire system.
What’s happening: According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologists are struggling to meet elevated demand.
- 79% of psychologists report patient increases for anxiety disorders; 66% for depressive disorders.
- Trauma- and stressor-related disorders swelled to 64% in 2022 vs. 51% in 2020.
- Substance-related and addictive disorders were 47% vs. 29% pre-pandemic.
Of greater concern, 65% of therapists report seeing an increase in the severity of symptoms across all disorders. And, demographically, those aged 13–17 were in the greatest need, with 46% of providers reporting more teen patients in the past year.
Care conundrum. As barriers to care intensify the mental health crisis, heavy workloads and workplace stress show the deteriorating resolve among therapists.
- 46% of therapists no longer believe they can meet demand for treatment from their existing patients.
- 60% have no openings for new patients.
- 45% agreed or strongly agreed they felt burned out, leading 60% to seek peer support.
Big picture: For years, cultural stigmas masked the true number of mental health sufferers in the US. Now, concurrent sources of trauma have revealed how unprepared we really are.
Looking ahead: Despite its regulatory concerns, well-structured mental telehealth networks will be instrumental in increasing access, while clinician licensure platforms like Resilience Lab must whittle away at our startling shrink shortage.