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More child-psychiatrists needed

Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.
Health care graphic copyright Midwest Communications, Inc.

UNDATED (WSAU) There's a shortage of psychiatrists in central Wisconsin -- especially those who help kids. County officials say families are either getting on long waiting lists for services -- or they're going to more populated areas like Appleton or Madison.

Portage County health and human services director Raymond Przybelski told the Central Wisconsin Sunday newspaper that many families are driving up to 100-miles-or-more to find adolescent psychiatrists. He says officials are working with medical schools to try-and-bring more of those experts to the region. Wood County human services director Katy Roetter says her agency is using tele-conferencing -- in which a child sits in a video room with a nurse, and talks to a psychiatrist in Madison. Roetter says it can be challenging, but many kids do well with it. She says some general practitioners are helping out. And she says a group of psychologists is looking into getting state approval to write psychiatric prescriptions.