Rising Demand for Behavioral Health Services in COVID-19 Pandemic

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Rising Demand for Behavioral Health Services in COVID-19 Pandemic

Health officials are warning that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing widespread behavioral health problems, resulting in more people needing diagnosis and treatment. Issues stemming from financial distress, family troubles, job loss, fear and isolation are leading to increased depression, anxiety and more. 

The need and demand for behavioral health treatment is rising due to the pandemic, including for people with existing conditions that are made worse by the global crisis. As the nation reopens, and people feel more comfortable going to clinics and healthcare facilities or using telehealth, behavioral healthcare providers will need staffing to handle the rise in patients. 

Recent research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows the extent of the pandemic’s mental health impact:

  • “Over half of U.S. adults (56%) report that worry or stress related to the coronavirus outbreak has caused them to experience at least one negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing, such as problems with sleeping or eating, increased alcohol use, or worsening chronic conditions.”
  • “Stress and worry around the coronavirus also seems to be affecting larger shares of frontline healthcare workers and their families (64%) as well as those who experienced an income loss (65%).” i
  • “Negative mental health effects due to social isolation may be particularly pronounced among older adults and households with adolescents…”
  • “Those with mental illness and substance use disorders pre-pandemic, and those newly affected, will likely require mental health and substance use services.” ii

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly one in five of U.S. adults (47 million) reported having a mental illness in the past year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). One in six young people experience a mental disorder each year.

Some experts are urging that behavioral health support should be integrated into all COVID-19 patient care. And others have suggested that the pandemic could help break down public stigma about mental health as demand for psychosocial care grows and more people seek help.

Rising demand for behavioral health patient care and support means that more care professionals will be needed – in a healthcare specialty area that’s already impacted by shortages.

Let AMN Healthcare Help You Prepare for a Rising Demand

Whether you are in need of staffing coverage in a hospital, outpatient, community mental health center or even state correctional facility setting, AMN Healthcare is here to help with access to psychiatric nurses, therapists, advanced practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists.

AMN Healthcare offers the most extensive network of pre-screened, highly trained, and adaptable professionals to fill behavioral health staffing needs, including permanent and temporary assignments. In an environment where demand for mental healthcare continues to rise, maintaining staffing levels is key to meeting patient needs and expectations – it’s critical to have a staffing partner you can trust.

To request staffing for behavioral health nurses, advanced practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists and more, fill out our request form.

i Ashley Kirzinger et al. KFF Health Tracking Poll – Late April 2020: Coronavirus, Social Distancing, and Contact Tracing, Economic and Mental Health Impacts, Kaiser Family Foundation. April 24, 2020. https://www.kff.org/report-section/kff-health-tracking-poll-late-april-2020-economic-and-mental-health-impacts-of-coronavirus/

ii Nirmita Panchal et al. The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use, Kaiser Family Foundation. April 21, 2020. https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/

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