The demand for mental health services in the United States has increased in recent years, with growing recognition of the importance of mental well-being. Psychologists are crucial in providing therapeutic interventions, counseling, and support to individuals facing emotional and psychological challenges. While the need for psychologists is evident across the country, certain states stand out for their higher demand and growth projections. In this article, we’ll highlight the US states with the most need for mental health professionals, their current requirements, and projected growth for psychologists.

Read our study on the Number of BIPOC Therapists Available in These Major Cities.

Rhode Island

Despite its small size, Rhode Island has shown a considerable need for psychologists. The state’s population faces various mental health challenges, leading to a rising demand for qualified professionals. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Rhode Island had a higher concentration of clinical, counseling, and school psychologist positions than the national average. For every 1000 jobs, 1.04 of them are psychologist positions. The BLS projects a 15% increase in demand for psychologists in the state over the next decade, much higher than the national average growth rate for all occupations.

Rhode Island’s urban areas, such as Providence and Warwick, have been experiencing a surge in the demand for mental health services. The state has been actively addressing mental health issues by implementing initiatives that promote mental well-being, but the demand for psychologists still outweighs the available resources. Stress-related disorders, substance abuse, and anxiety have increased the need for mental health professionals. To meet the growing demand, Rhode Island may need to attract more psychologists from neighboring states or invest in training programs to produce local practitioners.

West Virginia

West Virginia, known for its picturesque landscapes, also confronts significant mental health issues. The state has been grappling with higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and other psychological disorders. The shortage of mental health professionals, including psychologists, has been a concern in West Virginia for years. The BLS projects a 14% increase in demand for psychologists in the state, which reflects the pressing need for mental health services in the region. Additionally, nearly one job out of 1000 jobs in West Virginia is a psychologist position. If you’re looking for a place to begin your psychology career, West Virginia is a great place to look into.

One of the significant challenges faced by psychologists in West Virginia is the geographic dispersion of the population. Many rural areas lack access to mental health care, making it difficult for residents to receive timely and appropriate treatment. Telehealth services have been implemented to bridge this gap, but it remains a complex issue. Additionally, the state’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic have highlighted the critical role of psychologists in substance abuse treatment and recovery support. Increasing the number of psychologists in West Virginia could significantly improve mental health outcomes and reduce the burden of untreated psychological conditions on the community.


As one of the most populous states in New England, Massachusetts faces its fair share of mental health challenges. From urban centers to rural areas, access to mental health care has become a crucial issue. Massachusetts has taken significant steps to address these concerns, but the demand for psychologists continues to grow. For every 1000 jobs in Massachusetts, 0.9 of them are psychologist jobs. The BLS estimates a 12% increase in demand for psychologists in Massachusetts, reflecting the state’s commitment to improving mental health services.

With its renowned academic institutions and research centers, Massachusetts attracts professionals from various fields, including psychology. However, this expert influx does not meet the increasing demand for mental health services, particularly in underserved communities. Additionally, the state’s multicultural population necessitates psychologists with diverse cultural competencies to effectively address unique mental health needs. By offering incentives for psychologists to work in rural or underserved areas and investing in cultural competency training, Massachusetts can enhance mental health care accessibility and outcomes for its residents.


With its diverse population and bustling urban centers, Illinois is not exempt from mental health issues. The state of Illinois’ demand for psychologists is closely tied to its demographic and economic factors. As more individuals seek assistance for mental health concerns, the need for qualified psychologists rises. According to the BLS, Illinois is projected to experience a 13% increase in demand for psychologists. Currently, 0.88 jobs out of 1,000 are psychologist jobs, indicating a solid requirement for mental health services in the state.

As a major metropolitan area, the city of Chicago has a higher concentration of mental health facilities and practitioners. However, many rural and low-income Illinois areas face limited mental health care access. The state’s commitment to improving mental health services for veterans and their families has also highlighted the need for more psychologists specializing in trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues in Illinois, underscoring the urgency of investing in mental health infrastructure to meet the growing demand.


Hawaii’s idyllic setting masks a severe need for mental health resources. The state’s isolated location and unique cultural challenges contribute to higher stress levels and psychological issues among residents. The demand for psychologists in Hawaii has been steadily rising, and the BLS anticipates a 16% increase in demand over the next decade, surpassing the national average. Additionally, 0.76 jobs out of 1,000 are psychologist positions in Hawaii.

Isolation and geographical barriers pose a significant challenge for mental health services in Hawaii. Many residents, especially those in rural areas or on different islands, struggle to access mental health care due to limited resources. Telepsychology and online counseling have been beneficial in addressing this issue to some extent. Additionally, Hawaii’s diverse population requires psychologists with cultural sensitivity to understand and address the mental health needs of various communities, including Native Hawaiians and Asian Americans. Collaborations between local universities and mental health organizations can help nurture homegrown talent to meet the increasing demand for psychologists in the state.

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