Increasing Demand For Mental Health Services Outpaces Availability Of Mental Health Professionals, Reveals Latest Study


Mental Health Services

A recently published study has brought to light a concerning shortage of mental health services and professionals, particularly psychiatrists, in the state of North Carolina, with a stark focus on the eastern region.

Simultaneously, other reports emphasize the alarming rise in the demand for mental health services.’s latest findings for 2021 reveal that one in five high school students seriously contemplated suicide, while one in ten children was diagnosed with depression or anxiety in 2020.

The crisis becomes even more apparent when examining the availability of child and adolescent psychiatrists in Eastern North Carolina (ENC).

Among the 15 counties in ENC, only three have access to at least one child and adolescent psychiatrist, leaving the remaining counties without any such specialists.

These findings originate from a study conducted by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Shortage Of Mental Health Services And Workforce Crisis

Kelly Crosbie, the Mental Health Director at the NC Department of Health and Human Services, expressed her concern, stating, “We have a real mental health crisis right now, and it’s coupled with this moment where we’re having a real workforce crisis.”

This workforce crisis refers to the scarcity of mental health professionals capable of meeting the escalating demand.

Barbara Kohler, a therapist, underlined the mounting need for mental health services, especially for children. She noted, “We have seen an uptick in treating children since COVID, and so what we recommend is when working with children or just being with children in general is doing reflective listening.”

Reflective listening is a practice aimed at enhancing communication and understanding between children and adults.

Jennifer White, a concerned parent, has observed the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among children, potentially exacerbated by the influence of social media.

She emphasized the importance of addressing this issue proactively, stating, “There is a huge piece, especially in middle school, that we’re missing as far as not just telling kids, you know, don’t believe everything you see but really putting it into practice and making it more peer-based, not just from adults.”

This growing crisis in Eastern North Carolina is a microcosm of a nationwide problem. The shortage of mental health professionals, particularly psychiatrists specializing in children and adolescents, has far-reaching implications for the mental well-being of the region’s youth.

The confluence of factors such as the pandemic, social media, and societal pressures has created an urgent need for comprehensive mental health support.

The statistics from highlight the severity of the situation. One in five high schoolers contemplating suicide is an alarming figure that cannot be ignored.

The emotional and psychological toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the ever-increasing presence of social media in young people’s lives, has exacerbated the need for mental health services.

The shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists in most ENC counties compounds this issue. Only three out of the 15 counties in the region have access to these specialized professionals.

This disparity in mental health resources leaves many children without the support they desperately need.

Kelly Crosbie’s assertion that there is a workforce crisis in the mental health sector is a sobering reminder of the challenges faced by North Carolina.

The shortage of mental health workers extends beyond just psychiatrists, encompassing therapists, counselors, and other crucial professionals. This deficit further strains the system’s ability to provide timely and effective care.

Barbara Kohler’s observations regarding the uptick in treating children during the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the urgency of addressing this crisis.

The pandemic has disrupted the lives of children and adolescents in numerous ways, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and depression.

Effective interventions and mental health support are essential to mitigate the long-term consequences.

Jennifer White’s concerns about the impact of social media on children’s mental health highlight the need for comprehensive mental health education and prevention programs.

Addressing the root causes of mental health issues, including the negative influence of social media, requires a collaborative effort from parents, schools, and healthcare providers.

In conclusion, Eastern North Carolina is grappling with a mental health crisis marked by a severe shortage of mental health professionals, especially child and adolescent psychiatrists.

The alarming statistics of high schoolers contemplating suicide and children diagnosed with depression or anxiety underscore the urgency of the situation.

It is imperative that policymakers, healthcare providers, educators, and parents come together to address this crisis comprehensively, ensuring that children in Eastern North Carolina receive the mental health support they urgently need.

Up Next

Groundbreaking Study Shatters Conventional Beliefs About Depression, Deepens Insight

Beliefs about depression

In the realm of mental health, depression remains a complex and multifaceted challenge, often defying precise clinical categorization. The conventional beliefs about depression, rooted in clinical definitions and symptomatology, frequently fail to capture the deeply personal and varied experiences of those living with this condition.

However, a groundbreaking study recently published in World Psychiatry seeks to reshape the narrative surrounding depression by adopting a “bottom-up” approach that amplifies the voices of individuals who have personally grappled with this mental health issue, co-authoring their narratives alongside academic experts.

Up Next

Study Reveals Accelerated Decline In Youth Mental Health Amidst Pandemic

Decline In Youth Mental Health

A comprehensive study conducted by researchers led by Professor Willem Kuyken at Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry has shed light on the profound decline in youth mental health due to COVID-19.

This research, part of the MYRIAD (My Resilience in Adolescence) study, offers critical insights into the mental well-being of thousands of UK secondary school pupils who weathered the challenges of three lockdowns during the pandemic.

The study also draws comparisons with a group of students who had participated in the same research before the emergence of the coronavirus in 2020.

Up Next

The Complex Reality Of Teen Social Media Engagement And Its Connection To Suicide Risk

Teen Social Media Engagement

The digital age has ushered in a new era of communication and connectivity, especially teen social media engagement. Social media platforms have become an integral part of their lives, offering a space for self-expression, social interaction, and information sharing.

However, amidst the benefits of online connectivity, there exists a complex reality regarding the potential connection between teen social media engagement and suicide risk.

Contrary to the simplistic assumption that social media is solely harmful to teenagers’ mental health, the relationship between these platforms and suicide risk is multifacet

Up Next

Prolonged Staff Shifts Linked To Increased Patient Incidents On Mental Health And Community Wards

Prolonged Staff Shifts

A recent study conducted at the University of Southampton has uncovered a concerning correlation between extended staff shifts and a higher risk of patient incidents in mental health and community hospital wards.

This groundbreaking research reveals that when the majority of shifts in a ward-day extend to 12 hours or longer, the number of incidents involving self-harm, threatening behavior, and violence against staff notably increases.

The study, which is the first of its kind in England, analyzed incident data from mental health and community hospitals in Hampshire and paired it with records of nursing staf

Up Next

U Of I Study Reveals Silent Impact Of Air Pollution On Mental Health

Impact of air pollution on mental health

New research from the University of Illinois sheds light on the direct impact of air pollution on mental health, with a particular impact on rural areas. This study exposes a startling correlation: when air pollution levels increase by just 10% in rural regions, suicide rates surge by 1.5%.

In contrast, the study shows that urban areas experience virtually no increase in suicide rates due to air pollution. Co-author of the academic paper, David Molitor, underscores the broader mental health challenges facing the nation and highlights the alarming trend of a widening gap between urban and rural mental health outcomes.

David Molitor emphasizes that this research aligns with the concerning tren

Up Next

Suppressing Negative Thoughts May Improve Mental Well-being, New Study Reveals

Suppressing negative thoughts

A groundbreaking study conducted by scientists at the University of Cambridge challenges the conventional belief about suppressing negative thoughts and its impact on mental well-being. Contrary to prevalent clinical beliefs, the study indicates that the suppression of fearful thoughts does not lead to their intensified return.

In fact, participants who practiced thought suppression saw a reduction in the vividness of these thoughts and experienced improvements in their mental health. This research reexamines the long-held notion that attempting to suppress negative thoughts is detrimental to our mental health.

Up Next

Promising Potential: Ketamine Demonstrates Long-Lasting And Rapid Anxiety Relief

Rapid Anxiety Relief

In a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers have unveiled promising findings regarding the potential of subanesthetic doses of ketamine for providing long-lasting, and rapid anxiety relief.

While this discovery holds considerable implications for the field of mental health, the study underscores the need for expanded research involving larger patient groups to establish a robust evidence base.

Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic with a history of medical use spanning several decades, has garnered increasing attention in recent years for its potential therapeutic benef