Psychologists putting waiting lists in lockdown

Many psychologists are being inundated with patients.  A number of them have been obliged to close waiting lists for the time being due to the large number of people seeking help.

Koen Lowet, the president of the Flemish Association of Clinical Psychologists, says patient numbers were already up before the pandemic.  “There was less of a taboo to seeking professional help.  The pandemic added extra pressure.  Many people who postponed seeking help during the pandemic are now presenting.  Waiting lists are getting longer and longer.  It’s getting so bad that waiting lists are now being closed en masse. A psychologist will only close his or her waiting list when a patient will have to wait over a year.  It’s never happened before.  It means many colleagues can’t offer patients any help for at least a year.”

“People can still contact helplines and their GP.  Many people are visiting their GPs with mental issues.  GPs are already facing excessive demand at the minute.”

“Psychologists too are suffering.  Some have gone beyond their limits working late in the evening to see patients. That isn’t the solution.”

“People are reporting burnouts.  We need to expand capacity.” 

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