Nearly half of U.S. psychologists in a new survey say they cannot meet the growing demand for services and three-quarters say they have longer waiting lists than before the pandemic.
“This new survey confirms what we have already heard from patients: people are having a hard time accessing the mental health services they need,” said Dr. Michele Nealon, Psy.D., President of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “It is critical now more than ever to expand the pipeline for mental health professionals and promote integrated behavioral health into primary care.”
The 2022 COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey of 2,300 psychologists by the American Psychological Association found that demand for treatment of anxiety and depression remained high for the third consecutive year, along with increased demand for treatment of trauma-related disorders, increased stressors, and substance use disorders.
Six in 10 practitioners said they had no more openings for new patients, nearly half (46%) said they had been unable to meet treatment demand and nearly three quarters (72%) have longer waiting lists than before the pandemic. On average, psychologists reported being contacted by more than 15 potential new patients seeking care per week.
Nearly eight in 10 psychologists (79%) said they had seen an increase in the number of patients with anxiety disorders since the start of the pandemic, and 66% had seen an increase in the demand for treatment for depression.
Almost half (47%) said they had seen an increase in demand for addiction treatment (compared to 43% last year) and 64% had seen an increase in demand for trauma treatment (compared to 62% last year). 2021). Additionally, two-thirds of psychologists reported seeing an increase in symptom severity among patients in 2022.
“The social, emotional, and economic effects of a pandemic are still with us and will be for quite some time. In addition, the stressors associated with inflation, social and racial inequities, political upheaval, and international tensions are creating an unsettled nation. At a time when mental health services are needed the most, we are struggling the most to meet those needs,” said Dr. Nealon. “Policy makers have to make a bigger investment in financial and programmatic support to ensure that everyone who seeks psychological services can find a professional who can understand and help them.”
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. To spark positive change in the world where it matters most, The Chicago School has continued 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, education, counseling, business, and more. Through its engaged professional model of education, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and an extensive network of domestic and international professional partnerships, The Chicago School’s students receive real-world training opportunities that reflect their future careers. The Chicago School is proud to be a part of TCS Education System, a nonprofit, integrated system of colleges and universities that works collaboratively to advance student success and community impact. To learn more, visit www.thechicagoschool.edu.