Meeting the Mental Health Challenge

24 Jan 2018

Report: Shortage of menal health professionals 'critical'

The shortage of counselors and other mental health professionals in Minnesota has been the subject of much debate in recent years, with a report to the Legislature in 2015 calling the problem critical, especially in Greater Minnesota. 

The cover story by Alessia Leibert and Teri Fritsma in this issue of Trends magazine investigates the issue further, looking at the state’s educational pipeline for mental health workers, potential policy implications and more. 

Minnesota colleges and universities produced nearly 10,000 graduates of mental health-related programs from 2006 to 2014, but low rates of licensure in some occupations, pay imbalances, difficulty attracting professionals to rural areas and other factors have combined to create a shortage of qualified workers. 

There’s no easy fix, but one thing is certain. As the state’s population increases, the need for more highly-trained mental health workers will grow. 

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