The Australian Psychological Society has called for more positions to be created in the public sector to ease demand for services in the country.
Waiting lists to see public and private psychologists in country South Australia are months long, when the recommended waiting time is two weeks.
“It’s very difficult to get an internship in the bush,” she said.
“The sorts of requirements that have to be met under an internship virtually means that most rural organisations can’t meet them.”
Ms Roufeil says a shortage in qualified professionals means some private practices resort to advertising overseas to fill new positions.
She says more must be invested in training psychologists locally.
“Our training programs, particularly our postgraduate professional training programs, have been declining in both available courses and intake into those courses for a number of years now,” she said.
The latest Australian Graduate Careers Survey shows nearly 50 per cent of psychology postgraduates end up taking positions that are not related to their studies.
The society says the situation is becoming unsustainable and more must be invested in training pathways and in public psychologist positions.
This article first appeared on ABC Online on 8 October, 2013.