In April, Local 5 brought you a story about the lack of psychiatrists in our area.
Local 5 spoke to the president of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association who says the state needs about 200 to 250 more psychiatrists to meet the demand for mental health help.
More of that mental health assistance could be coming to the city of Green Bay.
The Northeastern Wisconsin Psychiatric Care Clinic will officially and fully open its practice in July and some of Friday’s graduates will be helping to serve those who can’t find the mental health help they need in our area.
The Medical College of Wisconsin’s 2019 class has without a doubt worked hard to follow their passions to serve, but the road to get there was not a short one.
“I graduated high school in 2009 and it’s kind of been just a long journey since then, so that puts us at 10 years now,” says graduate Anne Machesky.
Having these grads in the area will serve us well.
Some are sticking around to live out their residencies at a local clinic providing free mental health help at a time when psychiatric professionals are few and far between.
“Here in Green Bay we do have the Medical College of Wisconsin and psychiatry residency program and we have a lot of the young doctors that are interested in giving back to the community,” says Robert Gouthro M.D. “We feel we can make a little dent in that need.”
A sentiment echoed by students who have already started working for the Northeast Wisconsin Psychiatric Clinic.
“There’s approximately 50 out of 72 counties in Wisconsin that don’t have a child psychiatrist,” says graduate Jared West. “It kind of came down to the interest that I have in wanting to go into an area where there is a huge need.”
According to doctors like Gouthro, if you have insurance it’s possible that you may not be able to find a psychiatrist for months.
And if you don’t have insurance it’s going to be more difficult to locate services.
“The free clinic is something that we definitely need here, I think waiting list times are I’ve heard anywhere from 3-6 months, especially for whether it be child or adult care,” says Machesky. “I think just having a place where people can go, whether or not they have insurance, is so critical. Then hopefully we can get them tied into more community services from there.”
It’s a critical need that’s starting to be filled.
Bellin Health has been one of the clinic’s biggest sponsors.
The clinic has already begun to see a slow roll-out of patients, but plan to open regularly once or twice Saturday mornings starting in July, servicing 20 patients.