A decade ago, psychiatrist was ranked ninth among the search assignments received by Dallas-based Merritt Hawkins. Since then, the healthcare recruitment firm has heard more and more from employers who need them, and psychiatrist now ranks number two among the doctors its clients request (primary care physicians rank number one).
In a report on access to mental health services, Merritt Hawkins found that Texas has 1,546 psychiatrists, representing about 5.5 percent of the psychiatrists in the U.S. Yet we account for 8.5 percent of the population. In other words, Texas’ situation appears particularly bad. And if you drill down further, as the North Texas Community Health Collaborative did in a report I wrote about earlier today, you see that North Texas is worse-off still. A staggering statistic from that report that illustrates the scope of the need: The 16 counties examined in the report accounted for 1.1 million mental health or substance abuse visits in 2016. That boils down to 3,200 a day.
In other words, this story isn’t going anywhere any time soon.