We are in a mental health crisis. Over 75% of the counties in the United States have what is described as a “severe shortage of mental health prescribing providers.” We have less than half of the projected 78,000 psychiatrists needed, and most are older than 55 and likely to retire within the next 5 to 10 years. Meanwhile, most psychiatric illnesses are increasing dramatically. Most doctors don’t know what to do for people complaining of brains that don’t work other than prescribe drugs.
The only way we can possibly meet the nation’s need is by discovering evidence-based practices, and training other professionals to fill in the gaps. That is why I make public appearances, and consult to therapists, doctors, attorneys, clinics, schools, parents, and legislators. Research has increased our understanding of why some patients get sick, and others don’t respond to medications. In many cases they have unrecognized nutritional deficiencies and toxicities.
Implementing screening could make mental health services more cost efficient, effective, and accessible, but isn’t promoted in the mass media or most professional journals for exactly that reason; fewer prescriptions of expensive and ineffective pharmaceuticals providing support through advertising.