RICHMOND, Va. –Two mothers contacted CBS 6 after they spent days trying to get help for their teens.
The problem, they said, there were no beds at the three central Virginia facilities that deal with teen mental illness.
Experts said the shortage of psychiatric bed is not getting better.
Dr. Martin Buxton, who has practiced medicine for more than four decades, said it has become “night and day in terms of being worse.”
Dr. Buxton is the Medical Director for Tucker Pavilion and knows firsthand the bed shortage.
“When I’m on call at night, we’ll get referrals from Winchester, all the way down in Blacksburg.”
The problem continues to revolve around a lack of funding towards patient care and services.
New facilities need to be built with more beds and a major shortage of psychiatrists who specialize in dealing with children has to be corrected, they said.
Right now there are about 6,500 but Dr. Buxton estimated the need for 15,000 doctors specializing in child psychiatry.