Mental Health Professionals

how many mental health professionals are there in the us

Mental health professionals work in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient facilities. They can help you find the right treatment for your needs.

Mental health professionals can include psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists. They typically require at least a bachelor’s degree. These professionals help people develop the skills they need to improve their mental health and stay healthy.


As the country’s demand for mental health services has grown, so has the need for psychiatric professionals. However, the supply of psychiatrists isn’t keeping up.

As a result, the United States is facing shortages in the mental health care workforce, especially in rural and underserved areas. Several factors are contributing to the shortage, including an aging population and insurance restrictions.

Increasing the number of psychiatry residency spots and loan forgiveness programs for those who practice in underserved communities can help to fill this gap. And, more collaboration between psychiatrists and other professionals is essential, experts say.


In the United States, there are currently about half a million mental health professionals. That includes psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and social workers.

Psychologists help people improve their overall well-being and emotional health by assessing and treating behavioral problems, including depression, anxiety, addictions, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. They also perform research and work with school children, adults, families, and groups.

There are several reasons for the shortage of mental health professionals in the US. For one, the average age of psychologists and psychiatrists is aging; many are retiring at an older age, leaving the job market without young graduates to replace them.


Mental health counselors help people with emotional or behavioral problems. They work in a variety of settings, including private practice, community organizations and hospitals.

There are over half a million mental health professionals working in the us, including counselors. Most of these professionals require a bachelor’s degree and some need advanced degrees.

They often use evidence-based practices and therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Some have training in other types of treatment, like art or music therapists.

One major factor contributing to the shortage is the aging of the mental health workforce. Many of these professionals are retiring, and too few young graduates are entering the field.

Social Workers

Mental health professionals provide therapy, diagnose and prescribe medications for mental illnesses and other disorders. These include psychiatric nurses and psychologists, as well as social workers.

These specialists have lived experience with a mental health condition or substance use disorder. They are trained and certified to assist clients with their recovery by helping them set goals and develop strengths.

There are more than half a million people in the us working in roles like these. Most require a bachelor’s degree, but some need a master’s or doctorate.

Marriage & Family Therapists

Thousands of marriage and family therapists help people overcome mental health challenges and relationship issues. They often work in hospitals, clinics, private practices and social work centers.

Many marriage and family therapists are self-employed, but they also work for government agencies and non-profit organizations. The profession is growing faster than the average for all occupations.

To become a marriage and family therapist, you need a master’s degree and supervised clinical hours. Depending on your state, you may also need to pass a licensure exam and complete a post-graduate clinical training program.