Wisconsin mental health professional shortage amid COVID

As we climb out of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are continuing to work on addressing their mental health and combatting addiction, but leaders of one local organization focused on helping women said a shortage of mental health workers is making it harder to provide help.

"People in isolation have really struggled with mental health and substance use so we know our services are needed now more than ever," said Valerie Vidal, president and CEO of Meta House.

If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that our health is paramount, and mental wellness isn’t something that should be taken for granted.

"Our mission is really to break the generational cycle of addiction, so we really focus on ensuring that we’re treating the whole person," said Vidal.

Meta House

The team at Meta House in Milwaukee has been working for nearly 60 years to help women combat the disease of addiction and substance abuse, but they’re facing an uncomfortable problem.

"Right now, I think we could use three to four folks to add to our team currently," said Nekia Harwell, director of human resources. "We’d like to get these filled in the next four weeks if possible."  

There is a severe shortage in the state and locally when it comes to qualified mental health professionals.

"I think there has been an increased need for therapists in general, but the pandemic has exacerbated that," said Harwell. "Folks that don’t typically look for therapists have been using more therapists."  

They said the lure of private practice, and people opening up their own business with a focus on telehealth has made it tougher to attract the right people.

"We always have a waiting list for our services," said Vidal. "If we had more mental health professionals with us, we could serve more people."  

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Meta House

Whether you're looking for an entry-level position, or you're a licensed addiction therapist, you're encouraged to apply to begin your new job serving a community that desperately needs you.

Staff said they’re also offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus for therapists interested in this line of work.