Demand for mental health treatment has continued to increase as many psychologists report no longer having the capacity to see new patients, according to a new survey by the American Psychological Association.
The 2022 COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey found that demand for anxiety and depression treatment remained high for the third consecutive year while demand for treatment for trauma- and stressor-related disorders and substance-use disorders has grown. Six in 10 practitioners reported that they no longer have openings for new patients, nearly half (46%) said they have been unable to meet the demand for treatment and nearly three-quarters (72%) have longer waitlists than before the pandemic. On average, psychologists reported being contacted by more than 15 potential new patients seeking care a week.
Nearly eight in 10 psychologists (79%) said that they had seen an increase in the number of patients with anxiety disorders since the beginning of the pandemic, and 66% saw an increase in demand for treatment for depression. Nearly half (47%) said they had seen an increase in demand for substance use treatment (up from 43% last year) and 64% saw an increase in demand for trauma treatment, (compared with 62% in 2021). Additionally, two-thirds of psychologists reported seeing an increase in the severity of symptoms among patients in 2022.