Health Insurance Policy

Pandemic Demand For Mental Health Care is Overwhelming Providers

Michael Siracusa was struggling. Changing his prescription for antidepressants would help, he thought. But getting an appointment turned out to be complicated.

“When I started to look, on my own, for a psychiatrist, I had very little luck,” said Siracusa, who lives in Whitefish, Montana. While his therapist — a provider who doesn’t write prescriptions — gave him a referral, there were no appointments available for six to eight weeks.
For a person grappling with mental health amid a pandemic, that seemed very far away. “If I’m being honest, I wasn’t doing great,” he said. “It felt like no matter what I was doing, I couldn’t get the help that I was looking for, or that it was out of reach.”