Impartial Research For Informed Debate

The Wisconsin Policy Forum is a nonpartisan, independent statewide policy research organization with offices in Milwaukee and Madison. Our mission is to provide informed, nonpartisan analysis of critical policy issues affecting local governments, school districts, and the state of Wisconsin. Our research and facilitation activities encourage elected officials and community leaders to find effective, data-driven solutions to pressing policy challenges, and promote productive discussion among the public and private sectors.

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Viewpoint Luncheon – December 2018

11:45 AM - 1:30 PM

Potawatomi Hotel and Casino
1721 W Canal St, Milwaukee, WI 53233


2019 Annual Meeting

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Wisconsin Club
900 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI
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Featured Publication

Rural Counties Face Psychiatrist Shortage

Focus #19 • October 2018

Fifty-five of 72 Wisconsin counties face a “significant shortage” of psychiatrists and 20 have no practicing psychiatrists at all. The dearth of psychiatrists in these areas, along with the high prevalence of mental illness and substance abuse in the state, likely contribute to a gap in which more than half of Wisconsin adults in need of services for a mental health disorder go without care.

More than three-quarters of the state’s counties have a significant shortage of psychiatrists under the state’s definition and more than half have a shortage under a tighter federal standard, a Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF) analysis has found.

As providers charged with diagnosing and treating mental health disorders, including prescribing medications, psychiatrists play a critical role in the behavioral health care delivery system alongside other professionals, such as therapists and psychologists. For that reason, the availability of psychiatrists is one important component to patients’ overall access to mental health care. As discussed below, the costs of not providing...
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