U.S. mental health professionals say they can’t keep up with demand for therapy.

As Americans approach their third year of living with a pandemic, therapists across the country are finding themselves on the front lines of a mental health crisis.

Social workers, psychologists and counselors from every state say they can’t keep up with the continuing demand for their services, and many must turn away patients — including children — who need support most.

Tom Lachiusa, a licensed clinical social worker in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, said, “All the therapists I know have experienced a demand for therapy unlike anything they have experienced before. Every available time period I can offer has been filled.”

The New York Times asked 1,320 mental health professionals how their patients are coping with the easing of the pandemic restrictions. Generalized anxiety and depression are the most common reasons patients seek support, but family and relationship issues also dominate treatment conversations. One in four providers said suicidal thoughts were among the main reasons clients seek treatment.

“I regularly wish aloud to a mental health copy of Dr. Fauci for daily briefings,” said Lakisha Sullivan, a clinical psychologist in Atlanta. “I tried to normalize the wide range of intense feelings that people feel; some think they have gone really crazy.”

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