PHOTO BY TOM CROKE
Jennifer Warkentin, Ph.D., MPA’s director of professional affairs cites cost of schooling and insurance complications as professional barriers.

Psychologist shortage: factors affect access to care

By Phyllis Hanlon

The Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report in January citing a significant shortage of mental health care practitioners nationwide. In New England, the “percent of need met” ranged from 34.26 percent in Connecticut to 61.17 percent in Rhode Island. According to regional psychologists, a variety of reasons, from an aging profession and inadequate training/education programs to low reimbursement rates and health plan disparities, may account for the shortage of licensed mental health providers. For states like Maine, geography and the number of licensed professionals pose a challenge, according to Carly Rodgers, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow and public education chair of the [More]