Unfortunately, those with mental health and substance use disorders often delay care due to an inability to access psychiatrists. A persistent shortage of psychiatrists contributes to the lack of access across the country. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, while the supply of adult psychiatrists is expected to decrease 20% by 2030, the demand for their services is expected to increase by 3%, leaving a shortage of over 12,000 fully-trained psychiatrists. In addition to the current and projected physician workforce shortage, the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency has highlighted the need for robust investments to address the nation’s critical psychiatric workforce shortage.
APA supports the allocation of federal and state resources to boost the training pipeline so there are enough psychiatrists to meet the current and future needs of patients with mental health and/or substance use disorders. Efforts to boost the supply of mental health and addiction professionals should be a central component of legislation intended to enhance access to mental health or substance use disorder treatment.