Mental health professionals struggle to meet growing demand

DAYTON — It’s been an unprecedented couple of years and many are trying to seek help to talk about what they are going through.

Recently with shortages and the pandemic, when those people reach out for help they are being denied or waitlisted.

There are not enough doctors, therapists, or resources to give people the help they need.

A report by the United States Senate last month found that more than half of the people who need mental health care do not receive it.

A new bipartisan effort is in the works to expand mental health access nationwide.

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Darcie Clark, owner of Riverscape Counseling in Dayton, said she understands the frustrations mental health facilities are having as they try to deal with growing demand.

Clark said Riverscape has tried to bring in a diverse staff of counselors, but if their specialty is fully booked sometimes patients will have to be turned away or put on a waitlist.

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On Capitol Hill lawmakers have discussed the issues of racial disparities and ways to improve access to resources through Medicare and Medicaid.

Clark said that these efforts are overdue, but could help immensely.

“It’s so refreshing to hear,” she said, “I think that there’s a lot that could be done with that. There’s a lot of areas where care could be better provided.”

There is also the suggestion by lawmakers to increase scholarships as well as educational programs to expand and diversify the mental health workforce.

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