Rockford Experiencing Shortage in Psychiatrists

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some local counselors and psychiatrists say our region has lost some members of their profession due to retirement and relocation leaving Stateliners with less options when looking for mental health help.

A decrease in the numbers and increase is mental health awareness are what experts say is causing folks looking for help to have to wait weeks before they can get it.

Kevin Polky is a counselor in Rockford and says the folks who are suffering most are those without the means to travel out of our area to get help for mental disorders.

"I think unfortunately with the depression or the anxiety symptoms and it not being addressed biochemically," says Polky, "then that person may have the tendency to go into that darkness which is why we advocate from a counseling perspective to have a counselor on board so that they can keep a focus on that light."

Polky says the result isn't because of Rockford not being able to attract and retain skilled mental health professionals. He also encourages anyone who may be struggling with a mental disorder and who is at risk of hurting themselves or others to visit a hospital emergency room.

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