Dr. George Keepers, chair of OHSU’s Department of Psychiatry, says access to psychiatric care has been a problem for decades. There have never been enough psychiatrists, and there may never be.
Keepers says it is clearly a crisis, one that is intensifying as more Americans are seeking mental health care.
National Alliance on Mental Illness data shows one in every five adults in the U.S. has some form of mental illness. About one in 20 lives with a serious mental illness; that is roughly 13.6 million people.
Data also shows 60 percent of adults with mental illness didn’t receive any mental health services in 2017, a trend that’s continued for years.
The mounting shortage is causing treatment delays like a Vancouver mom, Kimberly Berry, experienced with her daughters, along with a lower quality of care.