Shortage of Mental Health Professionals amplified by Covid-19

Demand for psychiatric NPs and PAs is estimated to grow exponentially in the next five years. All sources, including health authorities and insurance companies, indicate that there is a vast and growing shortage of Mental Health Professionals in America.

linkPAs demand for mental health workers branded graphic

Combined demand for psychiatric NPs and PAs is estimated to grow from approximately 11,650 FTEs to 13,630 FTEs (17%) between 2016 and 2030. Under Scenario Two, demand for psychiatric NPs and PAs is estimated to increase by 2,190 FTEs and 240 FTEs respectively. Source

In an information-overloaded world, it can be hard to cipher what is relevant and meaningful to us. The team at linkPAs works hard to find the right combination of “information” and “intuition” in our efforts to continuously improve the services we offer. Let’s look at the “information” piece.

Our article opens with a claim published by the HRSA, and we link back to the data they used to support the claim. When doing research, it’s always a good idea to check reputable sources and not get drawn into misleading or inaccurate data. But what prompted us to seek this data in the first place?

No matter who you talk to, the topic of mental health is prevalent and it needs to be delved into.

linkPAs Recruitment Team

As experts in building relationships in the healthcare industry, we look to our recruitment team to bring current concerns and observations to the table. During a recent weekly meeting, we asked them to tell us what topics they felt were most relevant to healthcare job seekers and employers today. Our team is having day-to-day interactions with healthcare professionals on both sides of the hiring equation, so they are a great source for relevant issues.

The response from our healthcare recruitment team was unanimous, they are hearing a lot about the increased need for Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in the US. This brings us to the “intuition” part of expertise. True excellence in any vocation is often the result of those who can analyze information and tap into their intuition or “gut feeling” when making decisions. Check out this great article on the topic.

For the founders of linkPAs, business inception and evolution has been a constant fostering of information and intuition. This combination not only informs internal business decisions, but it extends to their daily practice. Tapping into the wealth of knowledge that their years of experience and educated team bring to the table gives them the ability to be responsive and relevant, two things that are sorely lacking by many providers in today’s marketplace.

So back to last week’s meeting, real people having real conversations about where the industry is heading and how to stay most relevant. Our team shared their observations, which we were able to validate with current data. No matter who you talk to, the topic of mental health is prevalent and it needs to be delved into.

Why is Mental Health such a hot topic now?

The CDC has stated that 40% of people are struggling with anxiety or addiction, an uptick attributed to the current reality of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing health orders in place across the country. Source

This data is reinforcing what our intuition has been telling us. Issues that have been trending the past number of years are being fast-tracked by a global pandemic. The sheer volume of information, and the rate at which it is being received, is crippling to many. Issues around mental health have seen a steady incline over the past decade, and now it’s accelerated so we have to act faster.

In a roundabout way, the current situation further highlights the need for organizations such as linkPAs. Over the past few decades, we have seen a steady increase in electronics replacing human interaction, which is arguably the foundation of good mental health. Our goal is to utilize advents in technology to amplify and enrich the hiring process, not to replace the human element. Real people are at the heart of our service, so connecting with them is integral to the work we do. Our personal connection continues to set us apart from the competition, healthy relationships require human interaction in order to thrive.

Lynda Gregg, linkPAs
Team Leader & CoFounder

We are experiencing a cultural crisis, magnified by Covid-19. Our job is to step up the leadership position we have etched out for ourselves, and work with industry to light the way forward. In delving deeper into this topic, we reached out to our friends at Foresight Mental Health in California. Experts in the field, they are reinventing the approach to mental healthcare, and their timing is spot on. Their recent blog, Why is it so hard to get a Therapist? by licensed marriage and family therapist Chay Tanchanco underscores what we are saying.

According to, there is a projected shortage of therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and social workers continuing from now into 2025. There is an expanding awareness of mental health in our culture, which is a good thing – though we also need financial stability and priority for providers and clients alike for this to be sustainable. Different areas of our country, especially rural areas, may have isolated or no mental health workers at all.

As we approach World Mental Health Day on October 10, we thought it would be time to get the conversation going, move from intuition and information to action.

Founded in response to an industry need, our entire corporate vision derives from a passion to serve. The best way to serve our healthcare clients – both employers and employees – is to stay one step ahead, which means finding opportunity in adversity.

Kevin Gregg, linkPAs
Head of Business Development & CoFounder

We are responding by checking in with our clients and colleagues, finding out where they are and where they want to go.

linkPAs is a Medical Recruitment Agency Focused on Career Connections

If there is one thing you need to know about linkPAs, it’s that there are real people behind this website who are devoted to the healthcare industry.
Sure it’s a job, but it’s more than that too. The cultural and societal issues that are increasing demand for workers in the Mental Health sector are not reserved for those not in the field. While it is not the focus of this article, the related topics of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue are a constant concern amongst our colleagues and peers. Click here for an article from our archives, with tips on how to combat burnout.

In working with organizations and individuals, linkPAs considers all aspects of job placement. Behind salaries, compensations, credentials and contracts there are real people facing the same worldly challenges. Where you work and who you work with plays a significant role in your overall mental health. We understand that and work to make meaningful, lasting connections.

Beyond the job, we are working to create and foster a community that cares. Click here to follow us on Facebook or here to subscribe to our blog