California’s Psychiatry Workforce Challenges

Author(s): Janet Coffman

Date: Mar. 02, 2020

In his 2020 State of the State address, California Governor Gavin Newsome called for the state’s counties to spend Mental Health Services Act funds more quickly to assist the 1 in 6 California adults who suffer from mental illness and the 1 in 13 California children who suffer from a serious emotional disturbance.

The impact of these expenditures will depend on the adequacy of the supply and distribution of the mental health workforce. This issue brief profiles California’s psychiatrists and the pipeline of trainees in the state’s psychiatry residency programs. Psychiatrists are a key part of the mental health workforce because they are among the few professionals authorized to prescribe medications that are integral to the treatment of many mental health conditions. 

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