LP Spring 2018 - 28

L A N C A S T E R M E D I C A L S O C I E T Y.O R G

Perspectives

Another reason for a shortage of care,
explained Saunders, is a growing shortage
of psychiatrists. Fewer doctors are entering
the field than retiring from it, resulting in
nearly 60 percent of all psychiatrists being
of age 55 or older.
"And, we have similar issues with psychotherapists and social workers," Saunders added.
Marucco, a social worker in inpatient
mental health, said that pressure from
insurance companies for providers to offer
more outpatient services instead of inpatient
can mean that patients sometimes must
wait for up to three months to access care.
For some patients, he continued, that
wait contributes to continuing mental
health decline that results in the need
for acute inpatient services to regulate
medications.
Hess noted that the behavioral health
care system can be difficult to navigate, as
patients may not be clear about why they
are experiencing difficulties and may not

know where to turn for help.
As their problems become more complex,
it becomes increasingly difficult to seek and
access care, Hess added.
WHAT TYPES OF MENTAL
HEALTH ISSUES ARE
RESIDENTS OF CENTRAL
PA EXPERIENCING?
Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse
disorders are among the most widespread
behavioral health problems in our area.
This is not surprising, said Saunders, as
depression is widespread around the world,
causing the greatest degree of disability
among all people.
In addition, explained Hess, depression
often occurs in conjunction with diseases such
as diabetes, cancer, stroke, or heart attack.
"We know that a significant number of
these patients also experience depression,"
he said. "As a result, we've begun to explore

LANCASTER

28

PHYSICIAN

ways that we can support staff in places
such as cancer settings and renal settings."
Recognizing depression early on can
enable health care providers to address it
before it becomes severe, Hess said.
A community needs assessment published
in April 2016 by Penn Medicine Lancaster
General Health revealed that 32 percent of
adolescents in Lancaster County reported
feeling depressed or sad during the previous year.
Unfortunately, said Van Bramer, many
adolescents are not getting the treatment
they need, a problem partially caused by
a shortage of inpatient services for that
age group.
While WellSpan Philhaven offers a range
of services for children, adolescents and
teens, including day hospital and intensive
outpatient treatment in several locations
and an inpatient facility in Mount Gretna,
Lebanon County, the need for treatment
is on the rise.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LP Spring 2018

LP Spring 2018 - 1
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPFall21
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSummer21
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring21
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter21
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPFall20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LancasterPhysicianSummer2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter20
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPFall19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSummer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPFall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPWinter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/Lancaster_Physician/LPSpring17
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