Increasing Access to Mental Health Care in Wisconsin: IRG’s Latest Report

Jan 11, 2024 | Annoucements, Press Release, Uncategorized


January 11, 2024 

Increasing Access to Mental Health Care in Wisconsin: IRG’s Latest Report 

“Knocking Down Barriers for Mental Health Access” shows how Wisconsin can immediately end the shortage of mental health providers

DELAFIELD, WI – Wisconsin is in the midst of a mental health crisis. Demand for services has accelerated since the pandemic and there are not enough providers to meet the need for care in Wisconsin. Despite various reforms and increased funding, the imbalance between supply and demand not only remains, but has grown. The problem has become too acute to ignore. Wisconsinites dealing with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health struggles need help now. IRG’s latest report tackles this issue head on with a common sense approach that immediately increases the number of providers available to those in need.  

WHAT IT IS. IRG has released a new report that shows how to quickly increase access to mental health care providers for Wisconsin residents. By allowing out-of-state licensed providers to care for Wisconsinites via telehealth, Wisconsinites will be able to access providers from around the country. Similar to what was allowed in Wisconsin at the beginning of the pandemic, this reform mirrors what many other states currently allow.

WHY IT MATTERS. Across Wisconsin, there is one mental health provider for every 420 residents. For comparison, one of the best states in this regard is Massachusetts, which has one provider for every 140 residents. This has resulted in many Wisconsinites not having access to a provider and never getting the care that they need. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2022, 34.9% of adults in Wisconsin with anxiety or depression had their need for care unmet. Wisconsin should not let this trend continue.

DETAILS. Currently, a mental health provider practicing in Wisconsin is required to be licensed in Wisconsin to serve clients here. This report explores reducing this barrier to care by allowing qualified out-of-state providers to practice in Wisconsin via telehealth. The report shows how there are a number of other states that have implemented these types of policies. If implemented in Wisconsin, residents would immediately have access to care from providers from every state in the United States.


The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations.

To learn more about the Institute for Reforming Government, click here.