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State-level Behavioral Health Workforce Reports

Many states have conducted behavioral health workforce studies. Below is an example of different approaches used by states to assist behavioral health workforce capacities.

Washington

Washington’s Behavioral Health Workforce Assessment: Input from Key Informants

In July 2016, Governor Jay Inslee tasked the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB) to assess the behavioral health workforce in Washington State. As Washington moves toward greater integration of behavioral health and physical/medical care, the WTECB has been charged with creating an action plan to address behavioral health workforce challenges and training needs to facilitate this emerging integrated healthcare model. This report summarizes the common themes revealed from a survey of key informants, and provides further background to the workforce-related challenges to providing behavioral health care in Washington.

Washington’s Behavioral Health Workforce Assessment: Project Phase I

Throughout Washington, the demand for behavioral healthcare is outstripping the availability of services. In 2016, Washington’s Governor and Legislature chartered a number of efforts to improve access to and the effectiveness of behavioral health care in the state, including this assessment of Washington’s Behavioral Health Workforce. This report presents initial findings regarding barriers and short-term solutions related to ensuring a comprehensive and effective behavioral health workforce. The input of more than 200 stakeholders and key informants contributed to this report.   

Washington State Behavioral Health Workforce Assessment

This report represents Phase II of the 18-month project. Phase II focused on assembling more detailed information to describe the Washington behavioral health workforce, and refining and updating Phase I recommendations as healthcare providers gained knowledge and experience regarding behavioral and physical healthcare integration. Five stakeholder focus groups that included CEOs, leaders of behavioral health agencies, organized labor, associations, and educators shaped the actionable recommendations in this report.

Vermont

State of Vermont Workforce Report: Fiscal Year 2018

The Workforce Report is a legislatively mandated annual assessment of Vermont’s workforce. It serves to provide data to better understand and more effectively manage the workforce. The report contains information about employee demographics, talent acquisition, turnover, retirement eligibility, benefits, compensation and diversity, as well as reports required by the General Assembly.

Oregon

Oregon’s Licensed Behavioral/Mental Health Care Workforce: A Profile of Selected Behavioral/Mental Health Occupations

There are a variety of professionals who engage in health promotion, prevention therapies, and treatment of behavioral/mental health issues. Using the workforce data from the state’s Licensed Health Professional Database, this report focuses on those health providers with prescriptive authority (psychiatrists, advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants with a practice specialty or setting in psychiatry/mental health) and those without prescriptive authority (registered nurses who practice in psychiatry/mental health settings, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed psychologists). Unfortunately, a significant amount of data were unavailable for Oregon’s licensed social workers, counselors and therapists, and psychologists, which limits the report’s findings.

Behavioral Health Collaborative Report

During the summer of 2016, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) created the Behavioral Health Collaborative (BHC) to develop recommendations that would build a 21st century behavioral health system in Oregon. The BHC is made up of nearly 50 Oregonians from peer support services, advocates, counties, behavioral health providers, courts, DHS, Oregon’s coordinated care organizations, hospitals, education, law enforcement, a representative from an Oregon Tribe, and an urban Indian organization. This report includes recommendations developed by the BHC which are designed to move Oregon toward a fully integrated behavioral health system.

 

South Carolina

Hope for Tomorrow: The Collective Approach for Transforming South Carolina’s Behavioral Health Systems 

From September of 2013 through December of 2014, the South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health (IMPH) convened a taskforce of public and private behavioral health providers, researchers and advocates to address the complex challenges of people with behavioral health illnesses. The Behavioral Health Taskforce engaged experts from across our state in exploring critical issues and identifying solutions based on promising practices. The result of this process was the development of actionable recommendations that outline a collective approach for transforming South Carolina’s behavioral health systems.

The Taskforce produced a one-year update released in October 2016 to inform the status of the processes and structure developed to help achieve the 20 recommendations set forth in the May 2015 report. Find that here: One Year Update—Behavioral Health Taskforce.

Minnesota

Gearing Up for Action: Mental Health Workforce Plan for Minnesota

This report was developed in response to a 2013 legislation requiring Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to hold a mental health summit and to write a state workforce plan. The legislation and this subsequent workforce plan grew out of concern for the ability of Minnesota’s mental health workforce to adequately meet the needs of its citizens, now and in the coming years.